In their attempt to take control of Parliament, former president Uhuru Kenyatta and Azimio leader Raila Odinga suffered a significant setback on Thursday.
In a day of great drama, Speaker Moses Wetang’ula decided against Azimio in the battle over the majority status.
Azimio’s aspirations of gaining control of the honorable House were shattered when National Assembly Speaker Wetang’ula declared Kenya Kwanza to be in the majority with 179 votes to Azimio’s 157.
The 14 members who were registered as members of Azimio by the Registrar of Political Parties (RPP) but who, in accordance with Wetangula’s decision, legally shifted their affiliation to Kenya Kwanza were included in the list of Kenya Kwanza members.
The parties represented by the members include MDG, MCC, PAA, and UDM, which had agreements with RPP before the election and Kenya Kwanza thereafter.
Wetang’ula said that the 14 parliamentarians had written to his office to certify their membership in the ruling Kenya Kwanza in addition to the applications filed by the parties before the Political Parties Dispute Tribunal to separate from Azimio.
Kimani Ichung’wah (Kikuyu MP) has been deputized as Majority Leader by Kilifi North MP Owen Baya.
The Chief Whip is Sylvanus Osoro (South Mugirango MP), while his deputy is Naomi Waqo (Marsabit MP).
Opiyo Wandayi (Ugunja MP) will lead the minority side, with Robert Mbui (Kathiani) as his deputy.
The Minority Whip is Junet Mohamed (Suna East), and his deputy is Sabina Chege (nominated).
Junet said that the decision confirms the Executive’s control over Parliament, accusing the Speaker of reclaiming both the RPP and the Judiciary.
A letter alone cannot be used to transfer an elected official from one party to another, claimed nominated MP John Mbadi, accusing the Speaker of dictatorship.
MPs from Azimio, led by Wandayi, opposed the decision, stating that Azimio does not agree with the decision and that the 13th Parliament has gotten off to a bad start.