Big blow for ODM in House committees

June 25, 2009 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya Jun 25 – The Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) has lost the leadership of key parliamentary committees due to internal competition among party members.

Despite having a majority membership in most of the committees, ODM could not marshal enough numbers to back its favoured candidates.

In the Parliamentary Accounts Committee (PAC) election held on Thursday, Ikolomani MP Bonny Khalwale (New Ford Kenya/PNU) retained the chairman’s seat.

At least four ODM MPs in the PAC had declared interest in the seat.

Konoin MP Julius Kones (ODM) was elected vice chairman after he stepped down in favour Mr Khalwale.

The Ikolomani legislator welcomed his “free and fair” election, saying it was not based on party affiliations.

“There was no politics during the election, this was done in a free and fair manner and I am going to make sure that I use my position to keep the government on its toes,” he vowed.

Budalangi MP Ababu Namwamba, who is also the ODM Parliamentary Group Secretary was categorical that the elections were not contested along party lines as has been the tradition in the past.

“Parliament is tired of playing along party lines and that is why we are electing leaders on their merit not on parties,” said Mr Namwamba.

Mithika Linturi retained his Parliamentary Investment Committee seat after Lugari MP Cyrus Jirongo indicated that he was not interested in the seat.

ODM suffered a major loss in the powerful Budget Committee where incumbent chairman Martin Ogindo was defeated by PNU`s Elias Mbau, despite having six members against PNU`s five in the team.

Under the new Standing Orders, the committee is expected to examine budget policy statements and report to the House what economies should be made.

It will also evaluate tax estimates, economic and budgetary policies and programmes with direct budget outlays.

Eldoret East MP Margaret Kamar is the committee’s vice chairperson.

Namable MP Chris Okemo retained the leadership of the Finance and Trade team.

Naivasha MP John Mututho also retained the chairmanship of the Agriculture, Livestock and Co-operative Committee beating ODM’s Fred Outa, six votes to five.

Kigumo MP Jamleck Kamau scooped the chairmanship of the new Committee of Implementation with Sotik MP Joyce Laboso serving as his deputy.

The committee is expected to scrutinise whether the resolutions and decisions that have been passed by the House have been implemented and to what extent it has taken place.

Mt Elgon MP Fred Kapondi and Wajir South MP Adan Keynan retained the chairmanship for Administration, National Security Committee and that of the Defence and foreign relations Committee respectively.


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