Five Jubilee Party MPs de- whipped for defying directive to elect selected candidates for committee leadership have been removed from all committees. The action was effected yesterday is despite the High Court directing that the quintet be reinstated.
Majority Whip Benjamin Washiali told the People Daily that the party has decided to remove the MPs from the committees as a deterrent to other members who could be habouring such moves. “Parties need discipline, it’s wrong to enforce this by de-whipping members but when push comes to shove, we have no option but to do so,” he said.
Three out of the four defiant MPs successfully clinched chairmanship of the committees after trouncing candidates fronted and endorsed by the parliamentary group. The de-whipped are Nandi Hills MP Alfred Keter, Silas Tiren (Moiben), Mwangi Gakuya, David Kangogo Bowen (Marakwet East) and Alex Kosgey (Emgwen).
Keter successfully vied for the chairperson seat of the Labour Committee defeating Bura MP Ali Wario who was the party’s choice. Tiren was elected chair Agriculture Committee, Gakuya chair Broadcasting Committee while Bowen was elected vice chairperson Environment and Natural Resources Committee.
Kosgey vied and lost in the Trade and Industrialisation Committtee chairmanship election. Washiali said he has already written to the Clerk of the National Assembly Michael Sialai notifying him of the new developments. Further, the party has written to the Speaker informing him of the intentions to hold fresh elections for the affected committees.
In a letter, Majority Chief Whip in the National Assembly Benjamin Washiali, said the four had been removed from the committees, effectively losing their membership. “As per Standing Order No. 176 (2), I hereby discharge the member in reference from the Committee of Labour and Social Welfare immediately,” read the letter to Speaker of the National Assembly Justin Muturi over Keter’s removal.
Majority Leader Aden Duale while defending the move to de-whip the members said that the determination of whether to discharge a member from a committee lies only with the party that sponsored an MP.