Committee reorganisation on hold

July 17, 2020 - 5 Minutes Read - By The Vellum Team

1.     . Committee reorganisation on hold

Despite the agreement between their principals and the common antipathy towards the Deputy President, the reorganisation of House committees was reported to have stalled because of disagreements between the Majority and Minority heads.

With one side looking to shoot down the lists, Majority Leader Amos Kimunya was reported to have been advised to withdraw the motion.

The issue revolves around the leadership of three crucial committees: Justice and Legal Affairs, Delegated Legislation and the Budget and Appropriations.

The Justice and Legal Affairs Committee is important because it will play a role in the reshaping of the electoral laws ahead of the elections, the mechanism to replace members of the electoral commission, the replacement of the Chief Justice, and the proposed referendum.

Both the Jubilee and ODM parties, and their principals, would be keen on influencing the direction of decisions and the nominations and vetting for those nominated to these offices.

The Budget and Appropriations Committee is one of the most powerful House teams. Not only do its members often tuck away some pork barrel allocations in the Budget, they also determine the directions of significant legislation.

The Committee on Delegated Legislation is important in the vetting of proposed regulations, many of which are rushed in close to the elections.

The reported disagreement between John Mbadi and Amos Kimunya is likely to give joy to supporters of Deputy President William Ruto, who would see in it an opportunity to exert influence and get favours to lend their weight to either side.

Budget and Appropriation and Delegated Legislation were previously headed by Ruto allies – Kimani Ichung’wa and Gladys Boss Shollei.

There is still a lot of time to consult, as the House extended the period for submission to 30 days, and is on recess, but that will be one of the interesting scenes to watch as the debate unfolds.

2.     The risk is taken, now the wait

President Uhuru Kenyatta explained the context within which the decision to ease the restrictions well enough. There was a group that worried about the economy and another that worried about the health of the people.

At the end, he said, a decision was made to strike a balance between the two.

But the numbers of the infected and the dying was rising and the economy was in trouble. There was also an admission that the tests were not sufficient to give the full picture of the situation and there was a report that has not been denied that a bigger population than reported had been exposed to the virus.

For the authorities, there is sufficient time to wait and see, and there will be sufficient reasons to make a drastic decision if the demand arises.

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