Nyamira Senator Kennedy Mong’are has been officially kicked out of the key Senate County Public Accounts and Investments Committee after Senate Speaker Ekwee Ethuro confirmed his de-whipping.
The Speaker also told the House that Kisumu Senator Anyang’ Nyong’o and his Vihiga counterpart George Khaniri had resigned from the committee through letters addressed to him.
The status of the three had remained unknown until Thursday after they were excluded from a list of committee members to participate in elections to pick the chairman and the vice-chairman.
In a statement to the House, Mr Ethuro said he had considered all the matters raised around the controversial election of Mr Mong’are to the chairmanship and subsequent de-whipping before arriving at the decision.
Mr Mong’are had contested his de-whipping by Minority Whip Johnson Muthama, saying it was done without following due procedures.
The Speaker, however, overruled him, saying parties had the prerogative to whip and de-whip members.
“Political parties therefore play a major role in the identification and nomination of members to serve in committees.
“They are similarly bestowed with the prerogative of removing or de-whipping their members from committees,” said Mr Ethuro.
Controversy has surrounded the committee over the last three weeks following the removal of Mr Mong’are.
The committee has not been able to do any business following the impasse, but the Speaker’s ruling has put the record straight.
Mr Ethuro urged the remaining members of the committee to elect the new chairman before resuming any other business.
He asked them to do so on Thursday next week.
“It is therefore imperative that a chairperson of the committee be elected in accordance with the Standing Order 212 (2) before further proceedings of the Committee,” said Mr Ethuro.
The opposition coalition will also be required to fill the three vacant positions in order to ensure the House team operates in full capacity.
Kiambu Senator Kimani Wamatangi had also asked the Speaker to rule on the status of a committee whose chairman has been de-whipped.
“[T]he position is that such removal has no effect on the validity of the committee except for the requirement that the committee first elects a chairperson before proceeding with its business,” said the Speaker.