The National Assembly concluded committee elections Friday, effectively filling all vacant positions in parliamentary committees whose composition had been affected by a recent purge instituted by the ruling and opposition parties.
During the eagerly-awaited polls, President Uhuru Kenyatta, ODM Leader Raila Odinga and KANU Chairman Gideon Moi appear to have won big after their allies landed plum dockets.
The outcome confirmed a decision by the three to push supporters of Deputy President William Ruto away from the powerful and privileged posts.
House Speaker Justin Muturi had issued an ultimatum on Wednesday requiring all committees whose membership were incomplete to have the vacant positions filled by close of business Friday.
Get breaking news on your Mobile as-it-happens. SMS ‘NEWS’ to 20153
The positions in question were those previously occupied by MPs thought to be allies of William Ruto who were purged by both the ruling and the leading opposition outfit ODM over alleged failure to toe the parties’ lines.
True to this order by the speaker, the house burnt the midnight oil, and held the elections Thursday and Friday.
Given that the minority and majority sides had already reached a consensus on the leadership of all the committees, the elections appeared to have turned into an avenue for formal endorsement.
After the much awaited exercise, the verdict is out.
The leadership of crucial parliamentary committees have been taken over by lawmakers deemed Pro-Handshake.
President Kenyatta’s allies such as Kieni MP Kanini Kega has taken over the chairmanship of the powerful Budget and Appropriations committee which was previously chaired by Kikuyu lawmaker Kimani Ichungwa, a sworn DP Ruto ally.
Raila Odinga’s allies took control of crucial committees such as the Finance and National Planning Committee which is now headed by Homa Bay Woman Rep Gladys Wanga.
Her Busia counterpart Florence Mutua will chair the Education Committee.
Rarieda MP Otiende Amolo is the new vice-chairperson of powerful Justice and Legal Affairs Committee, while his Homa Bay Town counterpart Peter Kaluma will serve as the vice-chairperson of Constitutional Implementation Oversight Committee.
The three committees were previously under the control of Ruto allies.
These committees are expected to play key roles in the implementation of the Building Bridges Initiative.
Gideon Moi’s loyalists Tiaty MP William Kamket and his Moiben counterpart Silas Tiren will chair the committees of Delegated Legislation and Agriculture committee respectively.
Laikipia Woman Representative Catherine Waruguru who recently decamped from Ruto’s side will deputise Tiren in the agriculture committee.
Kanduyi MP Wafula Wamunyinyi, who recently instituted a coup in Ford Kenya also appears to have been rewarded after he was elected the chairman of the Constituencies Development Funds committee.