Nasa effects brutal purge in the House committees
Opposition Members of Parliament (MPs) led by Minority Deputy Whip Chris Wamalwa and his Malindi counterpart Aisha Jumwa were yesterday kicked out of key House leadership posts.
The National Super Alliance (Nasa) replaced Wamalwa with Tongaren MP Eseli Simiyu who doubles up as the Ford Kenya secretary general while Likoni legislator Mishi Mboko will take over Jumwa’s place in the Parliamentary Service Commission (PSC).
The decision was reached at the Nasa Parliamentary Group (PG) meeting at Parliament Buildings chaired by Minority leader John Mbadi. The session was meant for members of the National Assembly.
Jumwa, who eased her way out of the ODM party, is an ardent supporter of Deputy President William Ruto and backs his 2022 presidential bid.
Wamalwa, who is angling to be the Trans Nzoia county governor, has been accused of being disloyal to the Opposition coalition and its leadership.
He is also fighting allegations of being loyal to Ruto.
Addressing a press conference at Parliament Buildings, Minority Whip Junet Mohammed said the new changes were aimed at not just improving the performance of the coalition in parliament but also strengthening party democracy.
“I wish to congratulate the Hon. Eseli Simiyu who is taking over as the Deputy Minority Whip.
He will serve our coalition with honour, humility and dedication just as he has served the National Assembly of the Republic of Kenya and the people of Tongaren Constituency,” he added.
In axing Jumwa and Wamalwa, Junet said party discipline was not negotiable for proper conduct of parliamentary business.
Several other MPs were also de-whipped from their respective committees for a period of six months pending a disciplinary action.
They include Sylvanus Osoro (South Mugirango), Nakara Lodepe (Turkana Central), Catherine Wambilianga (Bungoma Woman Rep.), Tindi Mwale (Butere), Vincent Kemosi (West Mugirango) and Twalib Badi of Jomvu.
Mwale and Badi welcomed the decision of the party to kick them out of the lucrative committees, terming the verdict as a breather.
In a particular Tindi of Amani National Congress (ANC) who was removed from the Energy committee alleged that his removal was a witch-hunt by some forces in Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) who were keen for him to switch his support to Opposition chief Raila Odinga.
“ODM should keep their positions and committees, no one was born from his mother’s womb bearing a committee. I am now safer serving the people of Butere,” said Tindi.
On his part, Badi said he does not regret his actions by inviting Ruto to his constituency, who he has been accused of advancing his agenda. But Junet defended the party decision.
“We must end the culture of leaders benefitting from the strength band support of the party or coalition, then, at their pleasure, decide to sabotage the same party or coalition,” said the Suna East MP.
He said the actions of the minority party were important to ensure they have a functional political environment which can deliver to the people of Kenya.
“We want to restate that our cooperation with Jubilee government which informs our relationship with the ruling Jubilee Party in the House is guided by the nine-point agenda of the Handshake between President Uhuru Kenyatta and ODM leader Raila Odinga,” he said.