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Murkomen escalates fight with ODM over Ole Kina committee leadership

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

This comes amid a heated standoff over control of the powerful position after Narok Senator Ledama Ole Kina was controversially elected as the chair of the committee.

In a letter to Senate Speaker Kenneth Lusaka on Thursday, Murkomen said he intends to move a motion to amend a section of the standing orders requiring the holder of the post to come from the second largest party or coalition in the house.

If Senate Standing Order 220 is amended, it will see any Senator have a chance to serve as a chair of the CPAIC notwithstanding the political side they belong to.

“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,” said the Elgeyo Marakwet Senator.

Murkomen maintained that every Senator had an equal responsibility to oversight their respective counties despite the political party the governor represents.

“We opine that every Senator has an 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,” he said.

On Thursday the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) party initiated the process of removing ole Kina from CPAIC four days after he was elected as the chairperson.

In a letter to the speaker dated May 6, 2020, Senate minority leader James Orengo gave notice that the opposition party intends to remove the Narok Senator from the CPAIC and the House Business Committee.

The orange party had accused ole Kina of going against the party position by upstaging its choice of Kisii senator Sam Ongeri to head the powerful committee.