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Investments committee election to rock Nasa boat.

Today's scheduled election in the Public Investments Committee of the National Assembly will, once again, put to the test the relationship between the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) and its coalition partners in the opposition. With the Amani National Congress (ANC) disgruntled with the manner in which its member, Nambale MP Sakwa Bunyasi, was treated at the Public Accounts Committee elections, the PIC polls will be closely watched.

Three MPs have expressed an interest in chairing the PIC one of the committees that the opposition National Super Alliance (Nasa) coalition heads and in which it has a majority. They are Mr Abdulswamad Nassir (Mvita, ODM), Mr Rashid Kassim Amin (Wajir East, Wiper) and Mr Tindi Mwale (Butere, ANC).

ODMDOMINANCEbrEmbakasi North MP Babu Owino and his Budalang'i colleague Raphael Wanjala, both of ODM, have withdrawn their candidature. Mr Owino told the Nation he wants to be the vice-chairman.

On Tuesday, Coast MPs were understood to have been campaigning for Mr Nassir, a second-term MP. Should Mr Nassir triumph, however, ODM will have established dominance over other Nasa parties on the top House posts.

ODM members got bolder in their quest for the House slots after the party won 76 seats in the General Election, more than its coalition partners Wiper, ANC and Ford-Kenya combined. LOYALTYbrThis was also behind the successful push by Mr John Mbadi to be named Minority Leader and Suna East MP Junet Mohammed the Minority Whip.

In both cases, ODM MPs said they had learnt from experience that they needed to give the positions to MPs known to be loyal and steadfast in their fight for the opposition in Parliament. They said MPs from the other parties are not often enthusiastic about playing their roles in the opposition.

Mr Mbadi argued then that his seniority as a third-term MP, long experience and party loyalty made him the most qualified pick for the post. NAMWAMBAbrLoyalists were also smarting from the "betrayal" by the party's former secretary-general, Mr Ababu Namwamba, who was handed the post despite the feeling by some members that he was secretly being backed by Deputy President William Ruto.

Mr Namwamba would later leave the party, revive the Labour Party of Kenya (LPK) and outrightly back the ruling Jubilee Party in this year's elections. They also regretted handing the position of Minority Leader to the late Francis Nyenze in 2013. Mr Nyenze, who was buried in Kitui County on Tuesday, was seen as a weak leader who rocked the boat from within.

He would also later openly back President Uhuru Kenyatta in his re-election bid. ENDORSEMENTbrAfter the protests that followed Monday's tml" target="_blankPAC elections, an ODM MP told journalists that they were tired of doing the donkey work for the other parties and dared them to leave.

On Tuesday Mr Mbadi said that while there was an understanding that the PIC chairmanship should go to an MP from the Coast, the party leadership could not dictate to MPs how to vote. The Suba South MP said his office had kept off the campaigns owing to the risks that come with an endorsement.

Mr Nassir was on Tuiesday tight-lipped about the sharing of positions, only saying: "I have been lobbying let's just wait fortomorrow. My machinery has been on the ground and so far so good.

"RIFTbrMr Mwale said ANC was shortchanged by ODM on Monday and they will not leave anything to chance."There is no agreement in Nasa that the PIC chairman should come from the Coast region," Mr Mwale said.

"If such an agreement existed, then Mr Sakwa Bunyasi would have been elected the chairman of PAC."Narok North MP Moitalelole Kenta, who wants to be the Implementation Committee chairman, dismissed the position sharing calls, saying: "These positions should not be the preserve of an individual or party.

" Ugunja MP Opiyo Wandayi was elected the PAC chairman despite a deal within Nasa to pick Mr Bunyasi. That did not go down well with ANC MPs.
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Publication:Daily Nation, Kenya (Nairobi, Kenya)
Date:Dec 19, 2017
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