NAIROBI, Kenya Apr 2 – Following the election of Justin Muturi as Speaker of the National Assembly last Tuesday, the focus has now shifted to setting up House departmental committees.
Intense lobbying has began among MPs who wish to serve in various key committees among them the Committee on Appointments which shall be in charge of vetting Cabinet Secretaries who are to be appointed by Uhuru Kenyatta after he is sworn in as president on April 9.
By Tuesday, parties were yet to forward names of members who will sit in the selection committee to appoint members to various committees.
The National Assembly is also expected to name members who will sit in the powerful Committee on Appointments which will be tasked with vetting Cabinet nominees and other key appointments by the Executive.
The committee must be in place by Thursday, seven days after the House was convened last week and will be chaired by Muturi.
Parliamentary Standing Order 204 provides that the committee shall be appointed within seven days on assembly of a new House and shall consist of the Speaker as a chairperson, the Deputy Speaker, the Leader of the Majority Party, the Leader of the Minority party, the Deputy Leader of the Majority Party, the Deputy Leader of the Minority party.
The committee shall not have more than 22 other members nominated by the House Business Committee, on the basis of proportional party membership in the House taking into consideration the numerical strength of the parties and interests of independent members.
Kigumo MP Jamleck Kamau said the Jubilee coalition intends to take the lead positions in all the 18 committees of the House as they seek to comply with the Speaker direction to all political parties in the House.
“As the Jubilee coalition we will use our strength in Parliament to ensure that we get the chairman and vice chairman’s seats. We want to ensure that we deliver to Kenyans what we promised,” stated Kamau.
ODM Parliamentary Group Secretary Ababu Namwamba said they have planned a retreat where they intend to discuss the party’s role as the official opposition in the House.