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Murkomen Wants Senate Standing Orders Amended To Allow Any Senator Chair the Powerful Public Accounts Committee

Kipchumba Murkomen
Senate Majority leader Kipchumba Murkomen. [PHOTO/ COURTESY]

Senate Majority leader Kipchumba Murkomen now wants any senator from any political party to be eligible for election as chairperson of the powerful County Public Accounts and Investment Committee (CPAIC).

In a letter addressed to the Senate Speaker Keneth Lusaka on Thursday, the Elgeyo Marakwet senator said that he’ll be moving a motion to amend a section of the senate standing order that requires the holder of the position to come from the second largest party or coalition in the house.

Murkomen argues that any senator elected to the house is charged with the oversight role and denying other senators from other parties that might not be popular in the house to lead the committee is tantamount to denying them a chance to perform their duties that include oversight over national revenue allocation to the County Governments.

“…The Senate Standing Order 220 establishes the County Public Accounts Committee and specifically  provides that the Chairperson shall be a member of the 2nd largest party or coalition of parties in the Senate.

“Mr Speaker, it is our considered opinion that the leadership of the County Public Accounts Committee should be left to the determination of the Senators and the Committee members who have been appointed based on their party strengths in the Senate. Reserving the position for specific political party presupposes that there is a correlation between parliamentary party strength in the Senate and the formation and running of the County Governments, ” the letter reads in part.

Read: ODM Kicks Out Senator Ledama From County Public Accounts And Senate Business Committees

Murkomen made reference to the 11th Parliament where the Jubilee Party formed government after winning the 2013 election. Interestingly the second-largest coalition in the senate, Cord, happened to have won many governor seats.

The Senator reiterated that this only proves that there is no correlation between Parliamentary party strength and formation of county governments.

“We opine that every Senator has equal responsibility to oversight their respective counties notwithstanding the Political Party the Governor represents. If electing a Governor and a Senator in one county from opposite political parties improves oversight, then only Narok. Tana River and Trans Nzoia currently enjoy this rare fete, ” said Murkomen.

Read Also: COVID-19: 30 Ventilators Bought For the Counties Now Missing – Senate

“Based on the above justifications. we shall be moving an amendment to Senate Standing Order 220 to ensure that any Senator can have a chance to serve as a chair of the committee notwithstanding the Political side they belong.”

Murkomen’s proposal comes just hours after the ODM party kicked out Narok Senator Ledama ole Kina from the committee days after he was elected chairperson.

Through a notice dated May 6, 2020, by Senate Minority leader James Orengo Senator Olekina was also removed from the Senate Business Committee.

Ole Kina was elected to head the county watchdog committee after trouncing Kisii Senator Prof. Sam Ongeri who got four votes, against ole Kina’s five.

Read Also: Senate Committee On COVID-19 Summons CS Matiang’i After Snubbing Them 4 Times

However, his election was opposed by Orengo, who stated that he would withdraw the membership of the minority from the committee, until “an appropriate resolution can be made”.

“I express and register dissatisfaction with the conduct and outcome of the elections of the leadership of the County Public Accounts and Investments Committee which were purportedly done today. We intend to withdraw our membership from the said committee until an appropriate resolution can be made,” wrote Orengo.

Olekina has, however, vowed to fight to the bitter end to retain the position.

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Written by Wycliffe Nyamasege

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