Milemba on top in latest ranking of legislators

Monday, September 28th, 2020 00:00 |
MPs led by Emuhaya’s Omboko Milemba (left, front row) address a Press Conference at Parliament Buildings.

Emeka-Mayaka Gekara

As the country debates the controversial proposal by Chief Justice David Maraga for dissolution of the two Houses of Parliament, Kenyans have passed a harsh verdict on majority of their representatives in the Legislature, saying their performance was below bar.

If the findings of a survey by Infotrak Research firm are anything to go by, a number of MPs have a reason to worry ahead of the next General Election.

The perception poll, whose results were released yesterday, was targeted to gauge the attitude of constituents on the work of their elected leaders.

During the survey conducted between November and December 2019 and January 2020 the pollsters posed only one question to voters: “How would you rate the overall performance of your Governor/Senator/Women Rep/MCA/ MP on a scale of 1-10 where 1 is extremely poor and 10 is excellent?”

Amani National Congress (ANC) Member of Parliament for Emuhaya, trade unionist Omboko Milemba, was ranked the best performing MP, followed by controversial Emurua Dikirr MP Johanna Ng’eno, Vincent Musau alias “Kawaya” (Mwala), Chris Aseka (Khwisero), Patrick Musimba (Kibwezi West) and Sigor MP Peter Lokachopong.

David Pkosing (Pokot South), Robert Mbui (Kathiani), Benjamin Washiali (Mumias East) and Erastus Nzioka (Mbooni) are also in the top 10 list.

Milemba scored 75.4 per cent, Ng’eno 71.4 per cent, Musau (70.8 per cent), Aseka 70 per cent while Musimba earned 69.8 per cent.

At number 290 with 33 per cent, Isiolo South MP Abdi Koropu Tepo was ranked the worst performing.

Job descriptions 

Muturi Kigano (Kangema), Francis Kuria (Molo), Ali Wario (Bura), Muhamud Mohamed (Wajir South), Paul Nzengu (Mwingi North), Samuel Gachobe (Subukia), Martin Owino (Ndhiwa) and Othaya’s James Mugambi were also ranked at the bottom of the table.

Others whose jobs could be on the chopping board in the next election include vocal Cherangany MP Joshua Kutuny,  Bady Twalib of Jomvu, Mercy Gakuya (Kasarani), George Kariuki of Ndia, Shadrack Mose (Kitutu Masaba), Millie Odhiambo (Suba North), Rangwe’s Lilian Gogo and Innocent Obiri of Bobasi.

According to Infotrak Chief Executive Angela Ambitho, the survey is part of the firm’s Kenyan elected leaders index, indicating they will be releasing perceptions on other cadres of leaders in the coming days.

“Whilst all our elected MPs and Woman Reps have elaborate job descriptions which include but are not limited to legislation, management of funds such as CDF and engagement in development activities, they are elected leaders who having sought the mandate of the electorate and should be open to periodic performance appraisals by their constituents,” Ambitho said while releasing the findings.

“The Infotrak Kenyan Elected leaders index which includes the MPs and Women Reps Performance index has been designed on the premise that public perception and performance approval of political leaders is largely determined by our politicians’ engagement and critical understanding on what resonates with their constituents,” she added.

She said that the factors considered by the constituents may include an MP’s prowess and eloquence in parliamentary debates, handling of public finances such as CDF, personal touch, interpersonal skills and charisma.

“It is the kind of synthesis that the respondents in this study used to gauge the performance of their elected leaders that the electorate will use in determining who to elect in the next general elections,” Ambitho noted.

 The survey appeared to suggest that voters approved the elected leaders on the basis of their individual efforts regardless of political affiliation.

Elected leader 

The bulk of the MPs ranked as top performers were mainly drawn from Ukambani, Western and Pokot, some of whom have defied their local kingpins.

They include Musimba, an independent, and Musau, a fierce critic of Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka. Barasa and Washiali are strong supporters of DP William Ruto.

Samburu West Naisula Lesuuda, who was ranked among the best performing women MPs, welcomed the rating: “It has never been lost to me that I have to deliver to my constituents because I made a promise to them but beyond that I know if I fail I will have shut the doors for the girls and women in my community. I have no option but to excel. Thank you for believing in my leadership,” she tweeted yesterday.

On his part, Wamacukuru attributed his performance to hard work and good planning. He was ranked the best performing MP in Kiambu.

“If all MPs utilised Constituency Development Fund (CDF) properly all of us would go very far in terms of development,” he told People Daily.

Notably, Kigano, a veteran lawyer, is the chairman of the influential Justice and Legal Affairs Committee of the National Assembly.

Vihiga Governor Wilbur Otichillo was ranked the best performing MP countrywide when he represented Emuhaya constituency as MP in the 10th Parliament.  

He had been elected to replace Kenneth Marende following his election as Speaker of the National Assembly.

Ng’eno three weeks ago found himself in trouble when he was arrested and charged with incitement following statements he made in his constituency.

On his part, Washiali was recently removed from his position as Majority Whip during a purge that targeted Jubilee leaders associated with Deputy President William Ruto.

Pokot South MP Pkosing chairs the powerful committee on Transport in the National Assembly.

Others on the list of top performers include Public Accounts Committee chair Opiyo Wandayi (Ugunja), Didmus Barasa of Kimilili, Kamau Wamacukuru (Kabete), James Nyikal (Seme), Mark Nyamita (Uriri), Hilary Kosgey (Kipkelion West), Imran Okoth (Kibra) and Rongai’s Raymond Moi.

The report revealed key politicians such as Majority Leader Amos Kimunya, who was ranked number 235 out of 290 MPs and Majority Whip Maoka Maore, who was also rated poorly, have every reason to worry.

Constituents also expressed confidence in the performance of Swarup Mishra (Kesses) and Joshua Kandie of Baringo Central to complete the list of top 20.

According to Ambitho, 37, 000 people were interviewed and data collected through computer assisted telephone interviews.

Data processing and analysis was done using SPSS. Each county was allocated a quota sample averaging between 600 and 2,500 depending on the size of the devolved unit. 

For example, Nairobi, with 85 wards was allocated a bigger quota sample of 2,500 while smaller counties such as Vihiga and Lamu were allocated quota samples of 600 and 800, respectively. 

Population Proportionate

On each quota county sample, the 2019 census was used to stratify the sample using Population Proportionate to Size (PPS) across the respective wards within the county.

The report also gauged the performance of  the country’s  47 women representatives with Gladys Wanga of Homa  Bay rated the best.

Kiambu Woman Representative Gathoni wa Muchomba was ranked the worst performer alongside Janet Nangabo (Trans Nzoia) Jerusha Momanyi (Nyamira) Liza Chelule (Nakuru) and Rehema Hassan (Tana River).

The MPs are on the spot after Maraga advised that they be punished for failing to 

pass laws to implement the two-thirds gender rule as demanded by the Constitution.

They, however, got a reprieve after the High Court on Thursday set aside Maraga’s advisory following a petition.

While a huge section of Kenyans expressed excitement with the advisory, MPs reacted with fury and accused Maraga of using Parliament has a “punching bug” over the gender rule impasse.  

The PSC has indicated that it will challenge the advisory in court. When issuing the advisory on Monday, Justice Maraga cited Article 261 (1) and the Fifth Schedule of the Constitution, which provides the enactment of the two thirds gender principle. 

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