The Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) Party has faced a political clash over House leadership positions and the impending distribution of committee seats in both the National Assembly and the Senate.
Appearing at a joint press conference yesterday following Thursday night’s Twitter eruptions, Embakasi East Member of Parliament Babu Owino and Narok Senator Ledama Olekina alleged that despite their campaign contributions and sacrifices, youthful ODM parliamentarians had been disregarded for leadership positions in the assembly.
“Enough of always being kept in arms away while others chill in their cribs and are rewarded with the lion’s share of party positions .Everyone knows what I have done for ODM and it is about time I am recognised for my sacrifices. I nearly died fighting for Raila. If that is not worth anything then let me be told,” said Kina.
Owino asserted that he had been guaranteed the position of chairman of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC), however, he was taken aback when the party presented ODM chairman John Mbadi, who had been nominated to Parliament.
“I was fronted to be the PAC Chairman by my fellow MPs, then the party agreed about this position. However, yesterday I was called and told to leave this position to Mbadi. Mbadi is already a party Chairman for ODM, in addition to that he was nominated, and again we want to add him the PAC Chairman,” said Babu.
National Assembly Majority Leader Opiyo Wandayi said those interested in chairing various parliamentary committees should wait for placement before appealing for votes.
“The Azimio House leadership will endeavour to accommodate the interest of all members when undertaking committee placement. There is no cause for alarm because what is happening is the usual jostling for committee placement,” he said.
Azimio named Wandayi (ODM) as its Majority Leader in the National Assembly, with Kathiani MP Robert Mbui (Wiper) as his deputy in the recently announced House leadership line-up.
Junet Mohammed (ODM) of Suna East was named Chief Whip, with nominated MP Sabina Chege (Jubilee) taking over as Deputy Whip.
Azimio appointed Kilifi Senator Stewart Madzayo (ODM) as Minority Leader in the Senate, with Kitui Senator Enoch Wambua (Wiper) as his deputy.
Senator Fatuma Dhulo (Jubilee) of Isiolo has been appointed Senate Minority Whip and will be assisted by Nairobi Senator Edwin Sifuna (ODM).