Are chairpersons of MPs’ committees on a go-slow?

March 19, 2014 3:29 pm
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The leaders of various Departmental Committees of the National Assembly were not available to give assurances when they would respond to statements sought in the House/FILE
The leaders of various Departmental Committees of the National Assembly were not available to give assurances when they would respond to statements sought in the House/FILE
NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 19 – “Are House Committee Chairpersons on a go-slow?”… was the question the Speaker of the National Assembly posed on Wednesday, after parliamentary business lined up for the afternoon session stalled.

The leaders of various Departmental Committees of the National Assembly were not available to give assurances when they would respond to statements sought in the House.

Muturi refused members of the committees to speak on behalf of their leaders and wondered if the chairpersons and their deputies were on a go-slow.

“May I know from the clerks whether there are committees that may be holding their sessions; because this is unusual that the chairs and their vice’s are not present,” posed the House Speaker.

Leader of Majority Aden Duale said leaders of the committees were failing in their duties and threatened they would be ejected from their positions if they did not take parliamentary business seriously.

“From what I am reading in the papers, Moses Ole Sakuda (Lands Committee Vice-Chairman)… I think he is so busy with taking the likes of (William) ole Ntimama to go and see the President,” Duale said.

“Chairs of committees of this House cannot curtail the operations of the House. They are chairs because they were elected by the members not because they have a better CV; not because they are better than other members… you know what to do when you chair fails you.”

During the morning sitting, the Committee on Implementation criticised the leadership of House Committees for failing to come up with resolutions that can be implemented.

Committee on Implementation Vice-Chairman David Gikaria (Nakuru Town East) said out of the 29 resolutions made by the National Assembly, only two have been implemented.

Gikaria told the House that some Cabinet Secretaries had told the committee that some of the House resolutions were difficult to implement because of the way they are worded.

“I would like to ask the committee chairmen and their secretariats to ensure resolutions presented to MPs are specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time-bound,” said Gikaria.

Chairmen of the different Departmental Committees of the House on Tuesday came under fire for not doing enough to hold the Executive accountable.

Led by Duale and Deputy Minority Leader Jakoyo Midiwo, MPs said the leaders of the committees had failed the house.

Some MPs claimed the leaders were out to enrich themselves by seeking monetary gains from the Executive with some even asking for offices in the Executive.

However, the chairmen of the committees defended themselves with the chairman of the Energy Committee Jamleck Kamau accusing the watchdog committees of wanting to take over their mandate and asked the Speaker to rule on the issue.

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