Handshake harvest: NASA bags 7 National Assembly committees

Handshake harvest: NASA bags 7 National Assembly committees

The reconstitution of National Assembly committees is now complete, with the minority side – NASA, bagging 7 chairmanship slots.

In what defines the new working relationship in the August House, anchored on the March 8, 2018 handshake between President Uhuru Kenyatta and ODM leader Raila Odinga, all lawmakers allied to Deputy President William Ruto have lost leadership of House committees.

With the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) report expected in Parliament, Justice and Legal Affairs, Delegated Legislation and Budget committees have been populated with pro-handshake MPs.

The leadership lineup had long been determined, with pro-handshake MPs benefiting, at the expense of lawmakers supporting Deputy President William Ruto’s 2022 State House bid.

“Bunge sio kanisa au msikiti, lazima siasa ipangwe, ukiona mambo imepangwa hivi au vile, hiyo ndiyo kazi yetu,” said Junet Mohamed.

“Ukitaka kupanga siasa, usitupange sisi wanasiasa, usitutishe sisi, tisha raia,” said Kikuyu MP Kimani Ichung’wa.

Ordinarily, the minority side in the National Assembly would be guaranteed of chairing two house committees; the Public Accounts Committee(PAC) headed by Ugunja MP Opiyo Wandayi and the Public Investments Committee (PIC) led by Mvita legislator Abduswamad Sharrif.

But the new political environment anchored on the handshake between President Uhuru Kenyatta and ODM leader Raila Odinga has yielded the minority side four more committee leadership slots.

Homa Bay Woman Representative is one of the key beneficiaries. She will chair the Finance and Planning Committee, snatched from Joseph Limo during the purge on perceived errant Jubilee members.

Her Busia counterpart Florence Mutua will head the Education Committee, previously led by Tinderet MP Julius Melly who was dewhipped.

Another NASA lawmaker; Justus Kizito will chair the Broadcasting Committee, while Mavoko MP Patrick Makau of the Wiper Party will head the Sports Committee, previously led by Machakos Town MP Victor Munyaka, a Ruto supporter.

“They wanted yes men in those committees…there is no more opposition, so ODM has no moral standing to occupy the minority seats, it should have moved to government benches,” said Soy MP Caleb Kositany.

“Chairing a committee in Parliament is different from being in government, Executive is not in parliament. What we have in Parliament is the majority and minority party. There is no government in Parliament,” added Junet.

With Parliament likely to be the epicentre of a clamor for constitutional amendments through the BBI, the composition and leadership of key house committees is largely pro-handshake.

Muturi Kigano will chair the Justice and Legal Affairs Committee, deputised by Otiende Amolo. William Kamket will head the Delegated Legistlation Committee, assisted by Muriuki Njagagua.

Jeremiah Kioni has retained chairmanship of the Constitution Implementation Committee, deputised by Peter Kaluma.

The Budget Committee is now headed by Kanini Kega, assisted by Moses Lesonet.

“Those who were removed were not removed because of incompetence, old age or lack of capacity, but largely because of BBI politics,” said Kositany.

“You know Tanga Tanga now they are not in ODM, Jubilee or Wiper, they are in no mans land, we cant trust any House committee to any member who is on no man’s land,” added Junet.