National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi is, in the next few days, expected to rule on alleged conflict of interest by some members of House committees.
This follows concerns by a section of MPs that some of their colleagues have turned into ‘mercenaries’ by failing to draw a line between their roles as committees’ members and as officials of interest groups outside the House.
The lawmakers alleged that their counterparts who belong to unions could be using privileged information before House teams to sabotage committee work.
“The interest I am talking about is when you have deliberations in a committee and union officials are supposed to make their representation. But an instance occurs where one of the committee members wants to present information on their behalf, which is wrong,” said Education Committee Chair Julius Melly, who asked for the speaker’s ruling.
Although Standing Order 90 compels members to declare their interest before contributing to debates, it is silent on how that declaration should be treated.
The MP wants the speaker to rule on whether a member who declares conflict of interest should be allowed to participate in committee proceedings and a clarification on whether such a member can participate in vetting of a nominee into public office.
Among those that could be affected by the ruling are nominated MP and Secretary General of the Kenya National Union of teachers (Knut) Wilson Sossion, and his Emuhaya counterpart and Chair of Kenya Union of Post Primary Education Teachers (Kuppet) Omboko Milemba.
Both sit in the Education committee, whose chairman expressed reservations on their conduct during a meeting between officials from the Knut and Kuppet on March 26, 2019.