, NAIROBI, Kenya, Dec 11 – Parliament is this week set to begin constituting key committees starting Wednesday, before going on the long Christmas recess.
Their first agenda on Wednesday will be to approve names to various committees and elect the chairpersons and the vice-chairpersons.
On Monday, the Committee on Selection which is chaired by Majority Leader Aden Duale will be meeting to plan the committees as per the applications received on members’ preferences.
There has been intense lobbying by MPs keen to sit on influential committees or chair them.
Also on the agenda is the election of EALA lawmakers which has dragged on for several months.
Last Thursday, both Houses of Parliament adopted a report by the Joint Parliamentary Committee on the selection of members to the Arusha-based regional assembly paving way for the election on Thursday.
The committee co-chaired by MP Katoo ole Metito (Kajiado South) and his Senate counterpart Aaron Cheruiyot (Kericho) upon vetting the nominees from the two major coalitions dropped two nominees because they had not resigned from their jobs in line with the Constitution and the Elections Act.
Julie Njeri Waweru (Jubilee) and Winfred Mutua (National Super Alliance) were blocked by the joint committee.
The report noted that Waweru is one of the directors of the Kenya Youth Enterprise Fund while Mutua is a sitting member of the Machakos County Assembly.
The EALA elections Act provides that an individual is disqualified from being elected a member if they are a public officer.
The Clerk of the National Assembly, Michael Sialai and his Senate colleague Jeremiah Nyegenye who acted as presiding officers in the nominees’ vetting, had accepted Mutua’s nomination papers to enable the committee decide whether she qualifies for election to the regional assembly.
The committee also threw out names of Cheruiyot Tamogei, Hellen Makone, Billy Baltazar and Humphrey Njuguna, who submitted their applications as independent candidates, as they did not have the support of at least 1,000 signatures of registered voters as per the elections law.
Despite claiming to be independent, they were also found to be members of the Jubilee Party.
Kenya is the only state in the East African Community that is yet to submit the names of its nine representatives.
Tanzania, Uganda, South Sudan, Burundi and Rwanda have already submitted the names of their representatives.