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Showdown looms over members’ list for crucial House committee

By Moses Nyamori | Feb 1st 2022 | 2 min read

Tanzania President Samia Suluhu Hassan during her address to a joint parliament session in Parliament, Nairobi, May 2021. [David Njaaga, Standard]

Showdown is expected on the floor of the National Assembly this afternoon as rival camps battle over the composition of a crucial House committee.

Reconstitution of House Business Committee (HBC) has since snowballed into a game of numbers between forces backing President Uhuru Kenyatta and ODM leader Raila Odinga on one side against allies of Deputy President William Ruto.

Ruto allies last week joined forces with Amani National Congress (ANC) and Ford Kenya lawmakers in pulling a surprise to reject reconstitution of the committee.

The vote on the Motion paralysed the operations of the House, forcing Speaker Justin Muturi to adjourn sittings indefinitely.

Yesterday, lawmakers backing Uhuru and Raila flaunted their numbers and vowed to have the names passed even as allies of Ruto hinted at rejecting the list again.

The National Assembly Majority Leader Amos Kimunya will today be seeking to reverse the vote before re-submitting the names for a fresh decision.

The MPs have to settle on the composition of the committee before it can transact any business since the team is responsible for setting agenda for the House.

Standing Order 49 rules out re-introduction of the Motion for consideration until after six months.

Kimunya has since resubmitted the names of MPs Joyce Akai Emanikor, Shadrack John Mose, Kawira Mwangaza, Mohamed Abdikhaim Osman, Makali Mulu, Mishi Juma Khamisi Mboko and Godfrey Osotsi for consideration.

Minority Whip Junet Mohamed and Deputy Majority Whip Maoka Maore described their rivals as saboteurs who are out to paralyse the running of the government.

“We are prepared and we have the numbers. Their intention is to paralyse the operation of the government and we cannot allow that to happen,” said Mohammed.

Maore made similar remarks, stating that UDA MPs rejected the names just for “nuisance value” when they know the full impact of such a vote.

Rejection of the names has the potential of stalling government projects that require approval of the National Assembly.

“We expect the names to go through. What numbers do they have to reject the names?” posed Maore.

“Their decision to reject the names exposes the kind of leaders we have from the other side. It is the only one instance that the minority wants to have their way. It cannot happen,” said the Igembe North MP.

Lugari MP Ayub Savula claimed that their opponents ambushed them when they had a meeting at State House. The vote on the Motion was taken on Tuesday on a day President Uhuru hosted MPs from western Kenya. “We will be there to make sure the names go through.”

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