NAIROBI, Kenya May 12 – Senator Kipchumba Murkomen has formally lost his seat as Majority Leader following the merger between Jubilee and KANU.
A formal communication on the changes was tabled in the house by Speaker Kenneth Lusaka, effectively stripping Murkomen of the Majority Seat which has been given to West Pokot Senator Samuel Poghisio who was endorsed at State House, Nairobi.
Murkomen however, protested the changes, saying they were done in bad faith, and accused the Speaker of acting under duress to endorse the changes.
“I don’t blame, you, I know you are acting under duress,” he said, in what sparked protests from several Senators including James Orengo, who accused him of undermining the Speaker.
“If Murkomen wants to continue to be a Senator in this house, he must withdraw those remarks,” Orengo said, “he must respect the Speaker.”
Earlier, the Political Parties Disputes Resolution Tribunal issued temporary orders stopping the Jubilee-KANU merger following a petition by Senators Susan Kihika (Nakuru) Caleb Kositany (Soy), Benjamin Washiali (Mumias East) and a Kenyan Albert Mutai.
The petition was filed at the Political Parties Disputes Tribunal with respondents named as the Registrar of Political Parties, Jubilee Secretary General Raphael Tuju and acting party Chairman Nelson Dzuya.
Jubilee Party and KANU are named as interested parties.
The petition sought an injunction restraining Tuju and the Acting Chairman from making any coalition agreements on behalf of the Jubilee party.
The Tribunal’s Deputy Registrar effectively issued an order suspending the agreement signed at State House during a Parliamentary Group Meeting chaired by President Uhuru Kenyatta, which stripped Elgeyo Marakwet Senator Kipchumba Murkomen of his Majority Seat, as well as Nakuru Senator Susan Kihika’s Majority Chief Whip post.
“An interim order be and is hereby issued restraining the 2nd and 3rd respondents from making coalition agreements on behalf of the 1st interested party, Jubilee Party with any party/parties without a valid formal resolution on a duly convened National Executive Committee of Jubilee Party,” the order reads in part.
Murkomen was replaced by Poghisio while Kihika was replaced by Senator Irungu Kangata of Murang’a.
The Deputy Majority Leader Senator Fatuma Dulo of Isiolo retained her seat with nominated Senator Farhiya Ali Haji taking the Deputy Majority Chief Whip’s post.
The merger is largely seen as aimed at trimming Deputy President William Ruto’s influence in the Senate to size.