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BY NAMULOMGO PETER, NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 22 – Kitui South MP Rachael Nyamai on Tuesday survived an attempt to remove her as Chairperson of the Health Committee of the National Assembly.
This is after Nyamai convinced MPs in the committee who had signed a petition to remove her, to back down.
MPs agreed not to proceed with the vote of no-confidence at a stormy mid-morning meeting which was attended by Director of Committee Services in the National Assembly Florence Atenyo-Abonyo.
The Director of Committee Services explained the House rules and procedure on such matters and also confirmed that her office had received the said petition.
Atenyo-Abonyo was forced to step in after proceedings in the committee threatened to get out of control with Nyamai and Robert Mbui (Kathiani) who were seated next to each other, exchanging words.
The embattled chairperson and Mbui got into a heated argument after the committee members resolved to eject the media from the proceedings to allow them to air their displeasure with their leader.
During the exchange, Nyamai told off Mbui for introducing regional rivalries between Machakos Governor Alfred Mutua and CORD Co-Principal and former Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka into the committee.
“Don’t bring Ukambani politics here,” Nyamai who has been supporting the Maendeleo Chap-Chap leader told Mbui, a Musyoka ally.
Mbui had accused the chairperson of gagging and blocking MPs from freely expressing themselves during committee meetings.
The petition, which had signed by 20 out of 22 members, alleged Nyamai had failed to offer effective leadership to the members.
It also claimed she lacked passion for the job, blocked free expression he had failed to inform members on decisions to postpone meetings.
A meeting between the committee and National Aids Control Council with regards to the interim audit report on the Ministry of Health account was held up for more than half an hour as MPs jostled over the whereabouts of a signed petition which had circulated seeking support to eject Nyamai.
MPs Fred Outa (Nyando), James Nyikal (Seme) and Jared Opiyo (Awendo) insisted that Wachira should produce the petition for it to be processed by the Clerk.
“I want Honourable Wachira Karani (Laikipia West) to table the list gave me and I signed, Let me tell you, you will not use my signature for nothing. He must produce,” said the Nyando MP.
Nyikal added: “Madam Chair, let me just speak the truth, there was a list circulating and most of us here signed it but we are not speaking now because the media is here. But our conduct as MPs requires that we should be honourable, and being honourable means owning up and if you want to withdraw your signature – for whichever reason- that is understandable and is part of being honourable too.”
The MPs were reacting to Wachira’s statement where he disowned the list, which he allegedly circulated during an informal committee meeting held last week on Thursday.
“Madam chair, I just want to clarify that I did not attend any meeting by the committee last week, because I was away; I had an emergency in the constituency. In fact, I have not been in Parliament since Tuesday,” he said.