NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 28 – Rarieda Member of Parliament Nicholas Gumbo has been elected chairman of the freshly constituted Public Accounts Committee (PAC).
Gumbo, who belongs to the Orange Democratic Movement, was elected by 12 members beating his closest rival John Mbadi (ODM chairman) – the party favourite – by three votes.
“There is no winner or loser, 26 members out of 27 participated… we are not bringing anything special, we have pledged teamwork, accommodation for each other, respect for each other and that is what will guide this committee,” stated Gumbo.
Gumbo attributed his win to the constant prayers by his spouse, taking the time to thank God for the victory and his colleagues for electing him.
“This committee has been in the news for very many reasons, some not so good, but as the new leaderships, we are going to do what is humanely possible to bring back the reputation of the committee,” declared Gumbo.
“I want us to look at this as a new beginning that we have committed members and we want to move on from there. If indeed the rain has been beating us one way or the other, we want to look at when it started and how we can make safeguards,” he added.
The new chairman said they would hold their first meeting on Thursday to set their agenda and catch up with investigations that had stagnated after the previous team was suspended.
“We look at all the appropriation by Parliament and this is not an easy task, it is a full plate and on Thursday we will come up with the procedure of dealing with the outstanding issues,” he stated.
His sentiments were reiterated by the new vice-chairman Kipkelion West MP Jackson Rop who said they were ready for the task ahead of them.
“We are ready to do the oversight role given to us by Parliament and we are ready for the job,” said Rop.
Rop beat his closest competitor Marakwet East MP Kangogo Bowen by nine votes garnering 15 votes while Joseph Manje of Kajiado North got five votes.
The win by Gumbo was a bitter pill to swallow for Mbadi who had been confident that he would win owing to claims that he was ODM’s preferred candidate for the seat and blamed his loss on the fact that Jubilee MPs participated in the election.
“I believe my coalition had more confidence in me that any other member probably to chair this committee. I think the other side of the coalition had their preference and I hope my brother will perform to the standards,” said Mbadi.
When probed on whether he was labelling Gumbo a Jubilee mole, Mbadi declined insisting he was sure that although it was secret ballot, CORD MPs voted for him.