President Uhuru Kenyatta on Wednesday held a last minute meeting with all Jubilee lawmakers at State House to streamline the Assembly committees and controversial nomination to the East Africa Legislative Assembly (EALA) whose deadline is tomorrow Thursday.
National Assembly Majority Whip and Mumias East MP Benjamin Washiali said the meeting marks the start of a busy two days for the MPs as they have to agree on the membership to committees and then elect Kenya’s nine representatives to the East African Legislative Assembly.
“After we have finalised a report of the party, we’ll submit it to the Committee on Selection and hopefully that committee will approve it for presentation to the House,” said Mr Washiali.
The meeting comes amid fears that the Opposition leaning MPs vowed to frustrate the vetting of members to key House Committees, but have since submitted the names of nominees to EALA posts.
The popular committees are Transport, Energy and Budget, but many of the Opposition lawmakers have demanded that they should be included in the crucial Public Investments and Public Accounts committees.
Meanwhile, membership in the watchdog committees gives one an opportunity to question ministries and parastatals over their expenditure and could also be deemed an opportunity to seek favours.
The first PAC of the 11th Parliament was disbanded after a fight broke out as MPs traded accusations of bribery.
“As an MP, you have to fight for something that will benefit your people and that if you are in the National Assembly would be roads. That’s why you see Transport committee is the most popular,” said Mr Washiali.
Mr Washiali said that Jubilee’s 12 slots in such a committee would be shared according to regions.
Other sources in the ruling party said the MPs were individually told where they had been placed, with the party’s leadership handling the strategic committees such as Transport and Energy. Earlier, Jubilee MPs had been asked to state their preferred committees as they registered in Parliament after election.
In the Jubilee Party, cases where two MPs from one region had expressed an interest in the same committee resulted in one being asked to cede ground.
At the moment, President Uhuru Kenyatta is mulling on the way forward on choosing his cabinet to run the four critical issues - food security, affordable housing, manufacturing and affordable healthcare – which he reiterated on Jamhuri Day celebrations in Nairobi on Tuesday.