, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 19 – National Assembly Majority Leader Aden Duale has hinted that fresh election of four parliamentary committees whose leadership has elicited controversy would be held next week.
Duale has said the Jubilee members in the Labour, Agriculture, Environment and Broadcasting Committees have already petitioned the Clerk of the National Assembly Michael Sialai citing their lack of confidence with their respective chairpersons, key among them the Nandi Hill MP Alfred Keter.
“The Clerk of the National Assembly has been served with a written notice and elections are slated for Tuesday or Wednesday next week. Keter and his colleagues can run up and down and throw tantrums but ultimately there will be an election next week. Members have already appended their signatures,” said Duale who spoke to Capital FM News.
According to Parliament Standing Orders 193 (1), a Committee may, by a resolution supported by a majority of its members, resolve that it has no confidence in the Chairperson or Vice-Chairperson and a Member designated by the committee for that purpose shall thereupon report the resolution to the Liaison Committee which shall, as soon as it is practicable, direct the Clerk to conduct an election for the Chairperson or Vice-Chairperson.
MPs Alfred Keter (Nandi Hills), Silas Tiren (Moiben) and James Gakuya (Embakasi North) who head the Labour, Agriculture and Broadcasting Committees respectively as well Environment vice-chair Kangogo Bowen (Marakwet East) have been at logger heads with the Jubilee leadership after defying orders to relinquish their positions.
Both President Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto had requested the four to step down but they maintain that they will not be intimidated by the Executive.
Keter and Tiren were elected chairpersons of the Labour and Social Welfare and the Agriculture House Committees respectively against President Uhuru Kenyatta’s preferred nominees Ali Wario of Bura and Mandera East’s Adan Ali.
Bowen secured the chairmanship of the Environment and Natural Resources committee after defeating Sophia Abdi of Ijara who was President Kenyatta’s preferred choice.
On Thursday during a press conference at Parliament Buildings, Keter came out gun blazing claiming that State House was playing petty politics further accusing Duale that he was among the cartels championing his removal and that of his other colleagues from chairing their committees.
“I cannot be cowed by anyone, Parliament is an independent institution and State House should not interfere with its activities,” said Keter.
But, on Friday Duale dismissed Keter’s claims saying that Jubilee Party had the full rights in determining who was to get what and that the question of regional balance was well addressed in the final list of preferred members who were to get leadership position in the committees.
“As a Party we believe in inclusivity of all Kenyans and regions where we got votes from and as a party we must ensure the leadership positions have been well distributed among our party members,” said Duale.
Duale who was categorical stated that Keter’s defiance and those of the other members was the sole reason the situation had escalated leading to other committee members petitioning the Speaker Justin Muturi demanding for a fresh election.
“If at all he was interested in chairing a committee, he would have contested in the Education Committee which was reserved for the Rift Valley region,” said Duale.
The Garissa Township Member of Parliament also took a swipe at the defiant lawmaker reproaching him that he had never tabled any bill in Parliament hence question his ability to Chair the Labour and Social Welfare Committee.
Duale however insists that despite the tenacious behavior exhibited by the four lawmakers, soon or later they will have to resign.
Sometime last year December, the four obtained a reprieve when the High Court temporarily suspended the decision by their party leaders to remove them from their various committee positions.