Jubilee de-whips MPs for defying party stand

Three Jubilee Party MPs have been de-whipped for failing to toe its in line in yesterday’s election of various parliamentary committee heads. The move came as the ruling party used its majority in the National Assembly to sweep the leadership of almost all the House committees, with the minority taking the powerful Public Investments Committee (PIC).

Nandi Hills MP Alfred Keter who had won the chairmanship of the Labour and Social Welfare Committee beating his Bura counterpart Ali Wario, was de-whipped via a letter signed by Majority Whip Benjamin Washiali.

Others who were de-whipped were Marakwet East MP David Bowen who had won the vice chairmanship of the Environment and Natural Resources Committee and Alex Kosgey who lost the Trade and Industrialisation Committee to Kanini Kega.

The letter read in part: “The leadership of Jubilee Party in Parliament has given the member adequate opportunity as per Standing Order No 176 (1) and we are convinced that he is not willing to co-operate with the party position.” In the coveted PIC, there was drama after three candidates failed to meet the 50 plus one mandatory vote for chairmanship.

MPs Tindi Mwale (ANC) polled seven votes, Abdulsamad Nassir (ODM) six and Rashid Kassim (Wiper) got six. In the second round Kassim pulled out leaving Nassir and Mwale to square it out. Nassir emerged victorious, polling 11 votes against Mwale’s eight. After the polls Mwale accused the Nasa coalition parties of ODM and Wiper Party of colluding to defeat him.

“Being the only ANC member in the committee, ODM and Wiper colleagues plotted to defeat me. This is not the end and we and ANC will continue fighting for our rights in the coalition,” said Mwale. Kitui South MP Rachael Nyamai was elected Lands committee chairperson. Her deputy is Khatib Mwashetani of Lunga Lunga.

Julius Melly (Tinderet) and Amos Kimunya (Kipipiri) were elected Education committee chairman and vice chairman, respectively. Murang’a Women’s Rep Sabina Chege was elected chair of the Health committee unopposed, while Nausrad Misra beat James Nyikal to become the vice chair.

Nominated MP Maina Kamanda, who was elected chair of the newly-formed National Cohesion and Equal Opportunities committee, vowed to fight governors derailing cohesion. Kiambaa MP Paul Koinange was elected chairman of the Committee on Administration and National Security unopposed.

He will be deputised by Sirisia MP John Waluke. Marakwet West MP William Kisang will chair the committee on communication, information and innovation. George Macharia of Ndia became vice chairman after Meru Woman Rep Kawira Mwangaza stepped down.

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