Vocal Nandi Hills MP Alfred Keter has been kick out of the chairmanship of the Labour and Welfare Committee in the National Assembly.
Bungoma Woman Representative Catherine Wambilianga (Ford Kenya) was also voted out as the Labour Committee Vice Chairperson in one of the most dramatic committee sessions of the 12th parliament.
Opposition MPs in the committee abstained from voting insisting that the exercise should be done in secret ballot.
Nominated MP David Ole Sankok moved the motion claiming they did not take into consideration the requirement of regional balance.
“I can also be a chairman. I was chairman of Sonu when I was [at University of Nairobi]. It’s not about qualifications. It’s about balance. There was no consideration of regional balance,” he said in Parliament.
But Keter said passing a vote of no confidence would mean legislators were working with the executive yet Parliament should be independent.
Last week, President Uhuru Kenyatta summoned four MPs who defied the party’s directive to resign from the committees they were elected to head.
The other three were Moiben’s Silas Tiren, Marakwet MP David Bowen and Emgwen’s Alex Kosgey. They defied a directive by deputy president William Ruto to relinquish the seats they had won, against their party’s wishes.
The four have been at loggerheads with Jubilee Party chiefs in Parliament after going against president Uhuru Kenyatta’s preferences and working their way to committee leadership roles.
Keter said: “I thought names given by the president and DP were suggestions but was surprised to realise they [gave directives].
“We are setting a bad tradition. Parliament has the capacity to produce its leaders. It is wrong to be seated here instead of going through an induction.”
An agitated Keter further said it was unfortunate that the party wanted him out because of regional balance.
“We were elected to lead the people of Kenya and as long as we are here, we work towards the betterment of Kenya, not because of a president’s directive.”
The lawmaker noted Parliament’s mandate is not to create balance but added “if you insist on having your way then we move on”.
“We have to insist on the constitution. You cannot sit here and purport that I am not fit to sit here. We have no reason to stand here and say that we are MPs. The constitution is supreme.”