Showdown looms as House debates PSC membership list
A showdown is expected in the House today over the appointment of Members of the National Assembly and Senators to the Parliamentary Service Commission (PSC).
Last week, the parliamentary leadership submitted names of members, proposed to serve as commissioners, to their respective Speakers.
Kenya Kwanza Alliance, led by President William Ruto, has submitted names of Faith Gitau (Nyandarua Women Rep), Mohamed Ali (Nyali), Nderitu Kinyua (Laikipia) and Joyce Korir (Nominated).
All the names are from Ruto’s United Democratic Alliance (UDA) party while affiliates have been left out.
The Azimio la Umoja, led by Raila Odinga, has submitted names of Mishi Mboko (Likoni), Patrick Makau (Mavoko) and Fatuma Dullow (Isiolo).
Both Mboko and Ali (Nyali) come from Mombasa County, which is likely to raise concerns during the approvals debate.
MPs will be expected to debate and either approve or reject the names.
Should the members be approved, they will be sworn in to serve for five years.
“That pursuant to the provisions of Article 127(2) of the Constitution, the House approves the appointment of the following Members of the National Assembly and Senators to the Parliamentary Service Commission,” reads today’s order paper.
Debate on the matter comes at time when there is a disagreement in Azimio after the coalition replaced jailed Sirisia MP John Waluke as a commissioner with Mboko.
The move came despite the Jubilee Party, a member of the coalition, maintaining that their pick was Waluke. Secretary General Jeremiah Kioni last week said that he had already written to National Assembly Speaker Moses Wetang’ula notifying him of the party’s choice hours after leader of Minority leader Opiyo Wandayi replaced Waluke’s name with Mboko’s thus giving his ODM party two slots out of the available three.
A section of MPs from the Western region, who support Waluke’s appointment, have threatened to reject the list during today’s sitting.
Waluke is currently being held at the Industrial Remand Prison pending an appeal he has launched over his 67 years jail term. He was found guilty and sentenced in a corruption case.
Waluke and his business partner Grace Wakhungu were sent back to jail after the High Court dismissed their appeals saying they were properly convicted and the more than 40 years they are required to serve in jail were not excessive.
The law requires that out of the seven commissioners appointed by Parliament from among its members, four will be nominated equally from both Houses by the party or coalition of parties forming the government, of whom at least two shall be women.
Three other members shall be nominated by the parties not forming the national government, at least one of whom shall be appointed from each House of which at least one shall be a woman.
The commission shall also include a man and a woman appointed by Parliament from among persons who are experienced in public affairs but are not members of Parliament.
Azimio has had to make a further substitution to replace Homa Bay Senator Moses Kajwang with Okongo Omogeni (Nyamira) after he protested the sharing of the slots.
Kajwang has since been elected as chairman of the Senate’s County Public Accounts Committee (CPAC).
Omogeni had said his community got a raw deal in ODM in the distribution of committee and House leadership positions.
Raila’s elder brother, Oburu Oginga, who is the Siaya Senator had expressed interest in the PSC slot.
PSC is responsible for providing services and facilities to ensure the efficient and effective functioning of Parliament, constituting offices in the parliamentary service, and appointing and supervising office holders. The commission prepares the annual estimates of expenditure of the parliamentary service and submits them to the National Assembly for approval as well as exercising budgetary control.