ODM, Jubilee reach consensus on House committee posts

ODM has announced that they have agreed to work on their differences with Jubilee after a meeting between Suna East MP Junet Mohammed and Jubilee Majority Leader Amos Kimunya. IMAGE/COURTESY

A closed door meeting between National Assembly Majority Leader Amos Kimunya and Minority Leader Junet Mohamed finally saw white smoke over the composition of various House committees that was threatening the ‘handshake’.

The two factions finally agreed on how to share the vacant positions in committees that was brought about by de-whipping of Deputy President Ruto’s allies in the ongoing ‘sanitation’ in the Jubilee party.

Junet Mohammed confirmed that they had broadly agreed on reconstituting the committees and the final list will be presented to the house speaker Muturi later this week.

“We now have a common position on the committees. We had a meeting with the majority leader on Saturday and another on Monday and we are now okay with the list,” he said.

Team’s Structure

Majority leader Kimunya equally confirmed that he had worked on the structure of the teams.

“As far as I’m concerned, we’ve harmonised the list and it is undergoing reviews at different levels,” he said.

In the new structure, ODM will chair three committees: Education, Finance and Planning and the parliamentary Broadcasting and Library Committee. Furthermore, ODM will also have a vice-chair’s seat in Legal Affairs and Constitution Implementation Oversight team.

Hon Gladys Wanga is confident of chairing the Finance and Planning committee while her Busia counterpart, Hon Florence Mutua will chair the Education team. The party is yet to identify the chair for the parliamentary Broadcasting and Library committee.

Legal Committee

Legislator Otiende Amolo will be the new deputy chair of the Justice and Legal Affairs committee while MP Kaluma will be the new vice-chairman of the Constitution Implementation Oversight Committee, which is chaired by President Kenyatta’s ally Jeremiah Kioni.

In the agreement, Wiper Party, will chair the Sports, Culture and Tourism committee that will go to Mavoko MP Patrick Makau. The position was left vacant following the de-whipping of Machakos MP Victor Munyaka.

Wiper will produce the vice-chair for the National Cohesion and Equal Opportunity committee. The team is chaired by nominated MP Maina Kamanda. By yesterday, Minority Leader John Mbadi said the party was yet to submit to his office the name of the occupant of the post.

Budget Committee

Kieni MP Kanini Kega looks to chair the Budget and Appropriations committee, formerly held by Kikuyu lawmaker Kimani Ichung’wa.

The legislators are likely to have a special sitting next week to approve the new changes and the approval of the new Auditor-General, who was vetted last week.

Committees such as Education, Finance and Budget currently do not have chairpersons, a factor that the House wants to resolve so that they can continue discharging their mandate.

“We are likely to have a special sitting next week. I will consult with the majority and agree on the date. But it should be soon so that some committees without chairpersons and vice chairpersons can continue working during this recess,” Mr Mbadi said.

Mr Mbadi said the agreement is a great move towards implementing the reform agenda of President Uhuru Kenyatta and ODM party leader Raila Odinga.