Raila’s ODM removes ‘rebel’ Kisumu assembly members from committees

Kisumu County Assembly

Kisumu County Assembly building. ODM  has removed ‘rebel’ assembly members from committees.

Photo credit: File | Nation Media Group.

Some members of the Kisumu County Assembly are up in arms after some of their colleagues perceived to be in good books with opposition leader Raila Odinga were rewarded with membership in multiple committees per person.

Those who have been branded Kenya Kwanza sympathisers have been de-whipped and reduced to single committee membership.

According to critics, the move is not only discriminatory but also weakens the assembly’s oversight role since the MCAs in the committees are friendly to the county executive.

Out of the 24 committees, Milimani Market MCA Seth Kanga sits in nine. Mr Kanga is the assembly’s chief whip and a close ally of Mr Odinga. East Seme MCA Seth Okumu is also a member of nine committees while his counterparts Jeniffer Obonyo (South West Kisumu) and Patrick Lumumba Owade (South East Nyakach) are in eight each. Kondele MCA Joachim Oketch belongs to six committees while his Manyatta B counterpart Nereah Okombo is in seven.

On the other hand, at least six MCAs perceived as rebels within ODM have been de-whipped from the committees and are only left in one committee whose membership is made up of all the 47 MCAs.

Among the casualties are Vincent Obuya (Central Nyakach), Gard Olima (South West Nyakach), Habil Nyasuna (Masogo Nyangoma), Kelvin Oraro (Kolwa Central), Fredrick Odari (Chemelil Tamu), Millicent Omuya (North Seme), Caroline Opar (nominated) and Regina Kizito also nominated.

The changes were presented by the leader of the majority party in the assembly Mr Kennedy Ooko. But Mr Olima criticised the changes.

 “We are being victimized because we voted for a different person during the speaker’s election. They are also punishing us for working with the Kenya Kwanza government yet now even our party leader is cordial with the President,” he said.

But Mr Kanga defended the move saying he was in many committees courtesy of his leadership position in the House. He however supported the party’s decision saying all of them hold positions courtesy of the party and therefore loyalty is key.