Jubilee threatens to quit Azimio over positions
A storm is brewing in the Azimio la Umoja Coalition after former President Uhuru Kenyatta’s Jubilee party threatened to quit the coalition over what it described as skewed sharing of committee slots.
Eight legislators allied to the party accused the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) which is a member of the coalition of political conmanship, deceit and lies when it came to dishing out of slots allocated to the coalition.
Addressing a news conference yesterday, the legislators said that they will be convening a Parliamentary Group meeting to deliberate on their future in the coalition following the mistreatment they are getting from their partners.
The lawmakers who included Adan Keynan (Eldas), Sabina Chege (Nominated), Abdi Shurie (Balambala),Fatuma Dullo (Isiolo Senator), Abdi Haji (Garissa Senator), Amos Mwago (Starehe) and Sarah Korere (Laikipia North) claimed that while they were entitled to one slot in the Parliamentary Service Commission (PSC), the slot was instead given to the ODM party. They warned that they would join the Kenya-Kwanza alliance.
“We are worried about the political antics employed by our partners. The Jubilee members are disgruntled over how the committees were shared. I would like to say that we were not coerced to join the coalition, we joined willingly and we will leave willingly. What we are worried about is that we have experienced first-hand political conmanship, deceit and banditry from ODM and we are telling our leaders to address this issue or we will leave this coalition,” said Korere.
Chege and Keynan also accused their party of failing to put its house in order which has led to the current stalemate.
“All we want is to get our position. Each political party should get its own share. All we are asking for is fairness in the coalition and that is why we are asking the speaker to step down this matter so that we can put our house in order,” said Chege.
Keynan said the decision to deliberate on the matter on the floor of the House was an illegality as it had not been slotted in the House Business Committee (HBC) during its meeting held on Tuesday.
“What is worrying is not who will sit in the commission, it is how the matter is being handled by ODM. At this stage, we are seeing a complete turnaround against the rules of engagement because being the second largest party, we deserve a slot in PSC,” said Keynan.
He added: “We are asking the Azimio leadership to call for a meeting so that we can discuss this matter and allow the Jubilee Party to come up with its own candidate. “The matter made its way to the floor of the House after Jubilee Party MPs demanded that the name of the jailed Sirisia MP John Waluke be included in the list to replace that of Nyamira Senator Okongó Omogeni.
“Our pick as a party was Waluke, when it was changed is news to us. Our partners must treat us as an equal partner, failure to which we will walk out of the coalition,” warned Korere. She, however, turned the heat on her own party, accusing its officials of being part of the problem by forwading different names to the coalition on the PSC list.
“Even as we blame our partners, we are also part of the problem. I fail to understand why we sent three different lists. We need to keep our house in order as we blame others for our woes,” said Chege.
In his ruling, Speaker Moses Wetangula said the matter had been settled saying Parliament did not have the luxury of time as the formation of the PSC was long overdue.“We need the commission to start working to address the many issues on members’ welfare including, mortgage, car loans among others,” Wetangula said before directing that the new commissioners be sworn in immediately.
The protests by Jubilee came a day after Senators replaced the name of Dullo with that of Omogeni as its nominee to the PSC representing the minority side.
The Senators approved a motion by the Minority to amend the motion from the National Assembly that sought to approve a list containing Dullo’s name.
Minority leader Stewart Madzayo (Kilifi) while moving the amendment motion said the amendment followed a letter he wrote to the National Assembly Speaker after due consultations with members of the minority side “I move that the motion be amended to delete the name of Senator Fatuma Dullo and substitute with the name of Hon Okong’o Omogeni, Senior Counsel,” said Madzayo.
He went on: “The motion be amended by deleting the name of hon senator Fatuma Dullo and substituting thereof with the name of hon senator Eric Okongo Omogeni, senior counsel. You realize where it was all agreed that we nominate senator Omogeni as a commissioner.”
While seconding the motion, Deputy Minority Leader Enoch Wambua (Kitui) said that Madzayo is the authority for the minority wing and that his letter overrides others.
“The substitution of the name of our friend Fatuma Dullo with the name of Senior Counsel Okong’o Omogeni has attracted a very bipartisan approach,” he said.
“Both sides of the House feel Omogeni will be in a better position to represent interest of the Senate in the commission. I have read the mood of the House. Allow the senators to vote and go home and allow Omogeni to start his work,” said Wambua.