National Assembly Majority Leader Amos Kimunya is facing a rebellion from Jubilee MPs allied to President Kenyatta who want him ousted.
There is growing disquiet about Mr Kimunya’s leadership in the House, which is being blamed for the near rejection of the Division of Revenue Bill in Parliament last week.
The MPs from the Kieleweke faction of Jubilee party associated with President Kenyatta claim Mr Kimunya is not effectively pushing the government agenda in the National Assembly.
Nyeri Town MP Wambugu Ngunjiri yesterday confirmed that there is disquiet but said there are no plans to remove Mr Kimunya.
“But he needs to step up. The government agenda in the House is not clear and there is lack of leadership,” Mr Ngunjiri told the Nation.
Another MP from Eastern, who did not want to be named, said they want to topple Kimunya.
"He should go like yesterday. President Kenyatta will not achieve anything with him (Kimunya) at the helm of the House leadership," the MP allied to Kieleweke and who claims to speak on behalf of the silent majority said.
Mr Kimunya did not reply to calls and messages by the Nation.Africa. Deputy Majority Whip Maoka Maore (Igembe North), Kanini Kega (Kieni) and Gathoni Wamuchomba (Kiambu Woman Representative) distanced themselves from the claims despite being named as architects of the petition to force out Kimunya.
“If such a thing were to be brought up, I would be the first one to oppose it,” Mr Maore said. “I serve in the leadership of the House with Kimunya,” he added.
“I can never do that,” Kega replied. Ms Wamuchomba said she was not aware of such a plot.
Mr Kimunya is accused of not coming out clear on the position of the government on certain Bills, leaving MPs supporting the government groping in the dark for direction. “He needs to create briefs for government allied MPs including ODM and equip people with background and context and enable the chief whip to mobilise members. The other side seem more organised,” said Mr Ngunjiri.
Standing Order No. 19 (3) of the National Assembly, provides that the Leader of Majority may be removed by a majority of votes of all members of the largest party or coalition of parties in the House.
At over 216 of the 349 MPs in the National Assembly, Jubilee Party commands the largest number of MPs.
In doing so, the Majority Whip shall forthwith, upon a decision being made, communicate to the Speaker, in writing the decision together with the minutes of the meeting at which the decision was made.
The Speaker upon receipt of the party decision, shall formally communicate to the House notifying the members of the changed leadership in the House.
This is the second time some Jubilee MPs are considering removing Mr Kimunya less than a year into the office.
Mr Kimunya replaced Garissa Township MP Aden Duale on June 22, last year, after he was removed during a party Parliamentary Group (PG) meeting chaired by President Kenyatta.
The removal of Mr Duale was orchestrated by Mr Kega and Mr Maore.
The two MPs rallied the support of 130 Jubilee MPs and those from allied parties.
The latest brush with the MPs was Kimunya’s determination, against all odds, to have the Division of Revenue Bill, 2021, dealt with by the House during a special sitting on Thursday last week.
This was despite every indication that the Bill risked being shot down by the MPs in protest as they complained of delays by the National Treasury in releasing their National Government-Constituency Development Fund (NG-CDF).
The Bill is critical as it divides resources between the two levels of government- national and the 47 counties.
Though the Bill is set to be considered today, its loss can be disastrous.
The National Assembly Standing Orders provide that if a Bill fails in the House at the debate stage, it can only be reintroduced after six months.
If such a fate befell the crucial Bill, it would cripple operations of national and county governments.