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September 25, 2017

NASA won't hold Parliament hostage, Muturi says as MPs delay committee formation

National Assembly speaker Justin Muturi during the swearing-in of MPs in Parliament August 31, 2017. /HEZRON NJOROGE
National Assembly speaker Justin Muturi during the swearing-in of MPs in Parliament August 31, 2017. /HEZRON NJOROGE

National Assembly speaker Justin Muturi has thwarted attempts by NASA MPs to be given more time to nominate representatives to the House Business Committee.

Muturi told the first sitting of 12th Parliament the “House will not wait for the minority coalition” if they have failed to nominate members.

“The House, under my watch, will not be held hostage by members of the political parties that do not want to participate or that show indolence,” Muturi said on Wednesday.

“The early bird catches the worm. The House will not wait for you. Delay defeats equity."

Read: NASA 'frogs won't stop us from drinking water', Jubilee MPs say

ODM chair John Mbadi and Kiminini MP Chris Wamalwa, standing on a point of order, had attempted to convince the Jubilee-dominated House that the approval of the list of names presented by Jubilee be shelved until the Opposition table theirs.

“I agree it is very important to constitute the House Business Committee. NASA has a special Parliamentary Group meaning at 10am (yesterday) and we want to plead with the House to allow us to come without the list of members,” Mbadi said.

“We cannot purport to constitute the committee if we have not followed the Standing Orders."

Mbadi was reacting to majority leader Aden Duale's point that the committee could get the prerequisite quorum even if NASA does not nominate members.

With ease, the House approved four Jubilee nominees who are MPs Amos Kimunya (Kipipiri), Shadrack Mose (Kitutu Mose), woman representatives Kawira Mwangaza (Meru) and Joyce Emanikor (Turkana) to be members of the committee before adjourning the morning session.

“The House now awaits three nominees from the Opposition. The quorum is five...if they don’t bring their names we will proceed to set the agenda. The earlier they bring their list the better,” Duale said.

Read: NASA, Judiciary boycott Uhuru Parliamentary address

The standing orders provide that the other automatic members to the committee are the Speaker as the chairperson and the leaders of the majority and minority parties. They are approved by the House at the commencement of every session.

The HBC is established seven days after the first assembly and is the most powerful committee in the House as it sets the agenda.

Its role is to monitor and oversee the implementation of House business and programmes

The other crucial committees that must be in place as soon as possible are the Committee on Appointment and the Committee on Selection.

The Committee on Selection nominates members to serve in various other teams save for House Business and Appointments committees.

It will be constituted 10 days after the first assembly and will have between 11 and 19 members.

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