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Kajwang’ only NASA senator elected chair

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Jubilee senators ganged up again yesterday to deny their NASA counterparts top House committee posts.

Opposition senators on the Transport Committee walked out of the election, protesting what they termed State House interference.

They included Cleopa Malala (Kakamega), Stewart Madzayo (Kilifi), Enock Wambua (Machakos) and Sylvia Kasanga.

They claimed State House ordered their JP colleagues to ensure no NASA senator is elected committee chair or vice chair.

“We are disappointed. Committees are no longer independent, they are controlled from State House. Jubilee members were whipped not to support NASA members as chairperson or vice,” Malala told the press at Parliament Buildings.

Kiambu Senator Kimani Wamatangi was elected Transport Committee chairman, the deputy is Godana Harugura (Marsabit).

Madzayo said there was no election, but a selection. Jubilee rubber-stamped names nominated by President Uhuru Kenyatta and Deputy President William Ruto, he said.

“We saw senators acting like robots, instead of voting in the right people. There was no scrutiny of the backgrounds of people being elected. We will keep off, or just sit in the committee but we won’t agree with them,” Madzayo said.

By yesterday, 11 committees had elected their heads. NASA only clinched the County Public Accounts and Investment Committee chair.

Homa Bay Senator Moses Kajwang’ was elected PAC chairman and will be deputised by Jubilee’s Mithika Linturi (Meru).

Wamatangi said the Transport sector faces myriad problems and his committee must draft laws to address them.

“Accidents are spiralling out of control. Traffic officers are compromised by taking bribes,” he said.

Kajwang’ said his committee will discharge its oversight duties in a bipartisan manner and will holding governors accountable.

“We will go through all the county audit reports and query all the issues that the Auditor General raised to ensure Kenyans get value for their money,” he said.

Kakamega Governor Wycliffe Oparanya ignored committee summonses and sought court protection in his first term. He said senators had no authority to summon governors.

Committee elections will be held today for Justice and Legal Affairs, Devolution and Intergovernmental Relations, National Security, Finance and Budget and Delegated Legislation.