Former Prime Minister Raila Odinga’s ODM is the biggest beneficiary of Jubilee’s purge on House committee leadership, The Standard can now reveal.
In the changes expected to take place this week, National Super Alliance (NASA) partners ODM and Wiper are slated to take up leadership of various committees in both the Senate and the National Assembly.
Those crafting the changes have told The Standard that they are under express instruction from the top to ensure the new committee leadership positions are shared between the ruling Jubilee and “other progressive forces” of the two Houses.
The vacant positions were occupied by allies of besieged Deputy President William Ruto who have since been withdrawn by their whip.
“I have instructions from His Excellency that parliamentary leadership should reflect the face of Kenya. The new team comprises able and competent, distinguished senators from the entire Kenya. This will enrich the Senate due to the infused regional and professional diversity,” Senate Majority Whip Irungu Kang’ata said.
According to other sources, four ODM senators are slated to assume chairmanship of Senate committees – Moses Kajwang (Homa Bay), Mohamed Faki (Mombasa), Naomi Shiyonga (Nominated) and Okong’o Omogeni (Nyamira).
Kajwang will chair the Devolution and Intergovernmental Relations Committee, Faki (delegated legislation), Shiyonga (national cohesion, equal opportunity and regional integration) and Omogeni (justice, legal affairs and human rights).
Other ODM senators -- Johnes Mwaruma (Taita), Fred Outa (Kisumu), Agnes Zani (Nominated), Ochilo Ayacko (Migori) and Gertrude Musuruve (Nominated) will be vice chairs of labour, national security, education, finance and tourism committees, respectively.
Wiper senators Enoch Wambua (Kitui) and Sylvia Kasanga (Nominated) will be vice chairs of agriculture and transport teams, respectively. Machakos Senator Boniface Kabaka of Chama Cha Uzalendo (CCU) will be vice chair of the Delegated Legislation Committee.
Four of the Senate committees are meeting this morning to endorse the changes while eight others will do so on Tuesday. The committees that will meet today to elect the chairs and vice chairs are agriculture, devolution, education and energy.
Senators Kasanga and Ayacko have since been elected by their respective committees.
In the National Assembly, sources said ODM alone has negotiated for at least seven key committee positions courtesy of their Handshake deal with Jubilee.
The party is said to have a particular craving for the committees dealing with legal matters, key among them the constitutional implementation, justice and legal affairs and delegated legislation.
Rarieda MP Otiende Amollo is being fronted to take up the leadership of the Justice and Legal Affairs Committee previously chaired by William Cheptumo, a Ruto ally. Dagoretti North’s Simba Arati will take up Broadcasting Committee chairmanship in the proposed changes.
For vice chair posts, the party is negotiating for finance committee, constitutional implementation, environment, delegated legislation and education.
National Assembly Minority Leader John Mbadi has confirmed they had discussions to that effect and will meet this week to reconstitute the committees.
“There are no hidden treasures. We will meet this week to reconstitute the committees in keeping with the parliamentary statutes,” said Mbadi.
Homa Bay Town MP Opondo Kaluma’s proposal to be the vice chair of Constitutional Implementation Oversight Committee is about to be sealed. Currently, Kaluma is in the Administration Committee and sources say he is a bit reluctant to shift. The party has now lined up Ruaraka MP TJ Kajwang and Mathare’s Antony Oluoch as possible replacements.
The party is also proposing Busia Woman Rep Florence Mutua as the vice chair of either education and/or environment committee and Homa Bay Women Rep Gladys Wanga as vice chair finance & budget.
In the same House, Wiper has proposed that Mavoko’s Patrick Makau chairs the Sports Committee, Makueni’s Daniel Maanzo to chair the Delegated Legislation committee and Makali Mulu to be vice chair of the Budget Committee.