Wamatangi’s tough balancing act to push Jubilee agenda as new chief
Eric Wainaina @EWainaina
Kiambu Senator Kimani Wamatangi has eyed a senior post in the Senate twice in vain.
He contested the Majority Leader and Deputy Speaker’s positions in 2013 and 2017 respectively, but in both instances, he was prevailed upon to step down for Tharaka Nithi Senator Kithure Kindiki over regional balance considerations.
But fortune finally smiled on him on Wednesday, when the Senate Speaker Ken Lusaka announced that Jubilee Party had picked him to replace his Murang’a counterpart Irungu Kang’ata as the Majority Whip.
“I am satisfied that the change was made in accordance with Standing Order 19(5) and (7) and meets the threshold required under Standing Order 19…
Accordingly, I wish to communicate to the House that the Majority Party Coalition has affected changes in the Office of the Senate Majority Whip, which shall now take effect.
The Office holder therefore, is Senator Kimani Wamatangi,” Lusaka communicated to the House.
Kang’ata was fired over accusations that he had revealed secrets of a closed-door party leadership meeting to his friends and writing a letter to the President in a manner that was seen as a breach of decorum.
Confronted with a divided Jubilee house in the Senate, it will be a delicate balancing act for Wamatangi who will be among the key pillars in pushing President Uhuru Kenyatta’s agenda in the House.
Speaking to People Daily yesterday, Wamatangi (pictured) said he will seek to build consensus among members while rallying support for key legislation and motions.
“I want to assure members from both sides that I will seek to build consensus all the time, consult with colleagues and I am fully aware the House requires not only to project its best image, but also ensure we say what we do,” said Wamatangi.
He added: “The role of the whip is not to divide people or to rejoice in other members’ suffering.
The role of a whip is to ensure this House passes laws that are good for the country.
To ensure the House amends laws, which required amendments to become better and to reject laws that are not good for the country.
Doing things together is the best way.” But the second-term senator acknowledged it will not be a walk in the park.