Tuesday, 7 May 2013

Jubilee seeks to withdraw Khalwale from House team

Dr Bony Khalwale at Parliament Buildings last year. Photo/FILE
Dr Bony Khalwale during a past committee session at Parliament Buildings last year. Photo/FILE  Nation Media Group
By NJERI RUGENE (nrugene@ke.nationmedia.com)
Posted  Tuesday, May 7   2013 at  16:47
The Jubilee coalition has moved to try and enforce provisions of the Political Parties Act by withdrawing their support for a senator for apparent failure to toe the coalition line in the Senate.
If a motion proposed in the Senate on Tuesday by Majority Leader Kithure Kindiki gets House approval, Kakamega Senator Boni Khalwale will be withdrawn from two committees including one he had intended to chair.
Dr Khalwale, a United Democratic Forum (UDF) party senator, publicly announced that he would not support Jubilee despite his party signing a post-election coalition agreement.
The government's motion to discharge Dr Khalwale from the two teams comes in the wake of a stalemate over the leadership of the key committee on Finance, Commerce and Economic Affairs.
Twice, the nine members of the team have been unable to elect a chairman with Dr Khalwale and Mandera Senator Kerrow Billow (URP) tying with support of four of their colleagues.
Kisumu senator Prof Anyang' Nyongo who is out of the country, had been expected to break the tie, is still away.
On Tuesday morning, an attempt to hold another election failed after the Jubilee Coalition informed the committee of its intention to discharge Dr Khalwale from the committee and replace him with the Majority chief whip Beatrice Elachi.
Ms Elachi wrote to Senate speaker Ekwee Ethuro as required by the Standing Orders, explaining to him Jubilee's intention to de-whip Dr Khalwale citing his lack of support for the ruling coalition.
Section 14 (e) of the Political Parties Act 2011, states that any member of party who promotes "the ideology, interests or policies of another political party shall be deemed to resigned from the previous party."
In the case of a coalition, the Act says it would not apply in case the political party member would do so in relation to the common objective of the coalition.
Dr Khalwale declared that he would work with the opposition, the Coalition for Reforms and Democracy (Cord).
On Tuesday, Ms Elachi , a nominated Alliance Party of Kenya senator, said Jubilee could not continue supporting the Kakamega senator and accused him of working with the opposition.
She singled out his support for Siaya Senator James Orengo (ODM) who won the chairmanship of the committee on Implementation. Dr Khalwale proposed Mr Orengo for the seat against Laikipia Senator GG Kariuki (TNA)
The move comes amidst heated controversy between Jubilee and Cord parties over representation in the two watchdog committees, Public Accounts and Public Investments.
Members of the Finance, Commerce and Economic Affairs committee include:
  • Billow Kerrow (Mandera, URP)
  • Boni Khalwale (Kakamega, UDF)
  • Mutahi Kagwe (Nyeri, Narc)
  • Peter Mositet (Kajiado, TNA)
  • James Mungai (Nakuru, TNA)
  • Moses Wetangu'la (Bungoma, Ford Kenya)
  • Anyang Nyong'o (Kisumu, ODM)
  • Harold Kipchumba (Nominated ODM)
  • Nobwala Catherine Mutike ( Nominated , Ford Kenya)

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