Jubilee Party has resolved to bulldoze members in its four committees to vote out defiant MPs, who have refused to relinquish their leadership positions.
The party yesterday prevailed upon the members in a morning State House meeting with President Uhuru Kenyatta to petition National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi and pass a vote of no confidence in the four embattled committee leaders — Alfred Keter (Labour), Silas Tiren (Agriculture), James Kaguya (Library and Broadcasting) and Environment Committee vice chair David Bowen.
Uhuru and DP William Ruto want the defiant MPs removed for disregarding their proposed list of chair and vice chairpersons to clinch the posts during committee elections.
“We have many ways at our disposal to have them removed. We’ve decided to use a vote of no confidence in them and we know it is going to work,” Majority Chief Whip Benjamin Washiali, who attended the State House meeting, told the Star.
The party wants the four voted out because committee members were not in their “right senses” when they elected them. Washiali, also Mumias East MP, said the party cannot renege on its last year’s campaign pledge of sharing positions equally because of the four “selfish” members.
The matter was taken to Uhuru after the four MPs got protection from the courts. They defied Ruto, who demanded they drop the positions.
“If someone has a fight with the DP, they should not bring it in the party. Why didn’t they face chair nominees from their regions for committee positions than vie against candidates from other regions?” Washiali said.
fake sugar importation
Keter has, however, vowed to remain put. He said he will not bow to intimidation by anyone or his party. The Nandi Hills MP claimed Washiali and Majority leader Aden Duale are among the cartels behind the push for their removal.
“There are issues in Agriculture where they have been importing fake fertiliser. These cartels want to continue importing maize and sugar at the expense of farmers who are busy trying to produce food for Kenyans,” he said.
But Washiali dismissed the claims and told Keter to provide evidence linking him and Duale to the cartels.
“Let him prove his claims. Why can’t he go to Agriculture CS Willy Bett, with whom they come from the same area, and give him names of people importing fake sugar and fertiliser?” Washiali said.
labour ministry problems
Keter pointed out that the Labour ministry is also faced with a myriad of unresolved problems such as workers’ welfare and mismanagement of the National Social Security Fund.
“They are misleading the President to have puppets in the name of committee chairs because they want to loot. It’s very clear they know my capacity that I’ll not entertain any looting — both in the NSSF and the entire labour sector,” he said.
Keter criticised JP MPs who have bowed to State House pressure to vote them out on the pretext they were not in their senses during the election.
“I think yesterday they were not in their right senses because it is very unfortunate that MPs can be intimidated by the Executive. We must invite a psychiatrist to deal with their cases to see whether it is yesterday or the other time that they were not in their right senses,
” he said.
Parliament, particularly National Assembly Clerk Michael Sialai, should defend the independence of the House against outside forces so it can discharge its constitutional duties properly, Keter said.
“We’ve seen that before when I was in the 11th Parliament. I brought a motion to impeach one of the Cabinet secretaries. The majority of members signed, but were forced to withdraw their signatures,” Keter said.
He said Parliament must not allow political parties “purporting to be more powerful” to dictate to it who should lead committees to oversight the government.