The Nation (Nairobi)

25 February 2011

Kenya: MPs Condemn ODM, PNU War Over House Teams

Nairobi — Three MPs have condemned the supremacy battles involving coalition partners ODM and PNU for control of parliamentary committees.

Elias Mbau (Maragwa), Maina Kamau (Kandara) and Muturi Mwangi (Kiharu) from Murang'a county termed as "cheap politicking" attempts by both parties to oust some members sitting in committees.

Already, PNU MPs have written to the Clerk of the National Assembly seeking to topple the Justice and Legal Affairs chair Ababu Namwamba, while in a counter move ODM notified the Speaker of their intention to kick out rebel MPs Isaac Ruto (Chepalungu) and Sophia Abdi (nominated) from the committee.

"Parliamentary committees are purely technical and should be devoid of cheap politicking," said Mr Mbau adding that political parties have no powers over the committees once established.

Speaking at the burial of Ibrahim Kagiri Toro, a brother of former Kandara MP Joshua Toro, at Kariti village Friday, the three PNU legislators called for tolerance and a unity of purpose among parliamentarians as the country seeks to implement the new constitution.

"The political bickering is a disservice to Kenyans as it will only lead to an unnecessary delay in the implementation of the new laws," said Mr Kamau.

Mr Mwangi, on his part, said the coalition partners have no choice but to work together in accordance with the National Accord in putting in place the necessary structures ahead of the next general elections.

"Moreover, even if we were to go for a snap election should one of the partners withdraw from the coalition, the country still lacks a proper electoral system as we still don't have the parliamentary and county boundaries in place," the Kiharu legislator said.

The MPs asked both President Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga to get rid of "hardliner advisers" whom they accused of misleading the two principals.

However, they welcomed President Kibaki's withdrawal of nominees to four constitutional offices as a "wise and timely move that led to the diffusion of political tension".

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