Kenya: Jumwa and Wamalwa Kicked Out of Plum Posts in Parliament for Defying Odinga

Nairobi — The National Super Alliance (NASA) has unanimously resolved to remove Kiminini MP Chris Wamalwa and his Malindi counterpart Aisha Jumwa from the positions of National Assembly Deputy Minority Whip and as a member of the Parliamentary Service Commission (PSC) respectively.

The purge by the NASA coalition was ratified during a Parliamentary Group meeting on Thursday at Parliament buildings attended by several legislators.

Members of the coalition include Raila Odinga's Orange Democratic Movement (ODM), Musalia Mudavadi's Amani National Congress (ANC), Kalonzo Musyoka's Wiper Democratic Movement Party and Moses Wetangula's Ford Kenya.

In the new changes, that National Assembly Minority Whip Junet Mohammed said were justified, Wamalwa is to be replaced by Tongaren MP Simiyu Eseli while Jumwa's post will be been handed to Likoni MP Mishi Mboko.

The coalition's replacements appear to be strategic to cement their influence in the two regions.

"The Coalition is non-negotiable, we must end the culture of leaders benefiting from the strength and support of the party and then at their pleasure they decide to sabotage the same party or coalition. Party positions and privileges must all times serve the party. Members must therefore at all times understand what the coalition position is on any issue in Parliament," he said.

The changes follows similar ones in the ruling Jubilee Party which dismissed Elgeyo Marakwet Senator Kipchumba Murkomen from the Majority Leader's post and his Nakuru counterpart Susan Kihika from Majority Whip.

During the Thursday NASA meeting, the removal of 8 other legislators from their respective House committees for six months was also ratified with Junet noting that the coalition will not tolerate disloyal members whom he accused of shifting their allegiance to Deputy President William Ruto's Tanga Tanga camp.

"Following the Deputy President William Ruto is wrong and the party will not hesitate to discipline such members," he said.

MPs affected in the purge include South Mugirango's Sylvanus Osoro who was removed from the Agriculture Committee and the committee on implementation, Vincent Kemosi (West Mugirango) from the Transport and powers and privileges Committee, Nakala Lodepe (Turkana Central) from the Defense and Foreign Relations Committee, Catherine Wambilyanga (Bungoma Woman Representative) from the Labour committee, Education and selection Committee.

Others are David Ochieng (Ugenya) from the Health committee, Tindi Mwale (Butere) from the Energy, Delegated and Selection Committee, Katana Kahidi (Kaloleni) from Public Investments Committee and Bady Twalib (Jomvu) from Budget and Appropriations committee.

During the briefing, Junet assured the coalition's support for President Uhuru Kenyatta who is working closely with Odinga after a handshake.

Reports indicate that some of the MPs will challenge the coalition's decision in court.

According to Article 251 of the Kenya constitution, a member of a commission or the holder of an independent office, may be removed from office only for-serious violation of this Constitution or any other law, including a contravention of Chapter Six, gross misconduct, whether in the performance of the member's or office holder's functions or otherwise, physical or mental incapacity to perform the functions of office, incompetence or bankruptcy.

MP Mwale who belongs to Amani National Congress Party faulted the changes insisting that they were done in bad faith.

"I was elected without committees and therefore ODM should keep their committees and give them to their busy bodies," he said.

NASA's move follows a similar purge in Jubilee Party which saw DP Ruto's foot soldiers de-whipped of their positions after they were accused of being disloyal to the party.

Elgeyo Marakwet Senator Kipchumba Murkomen and his Nakuru counterpart Susan Kihika were stripped from the positions of Leader of Majority of Majority Chief Whip respectively at the onset of the purge.

Tharaka Nithi Senator Kindiki Kithure touted to be DP Ruto's likely running mate in the 2022 polls, was last week ousted as the Senate Deputy Speaker.

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