Kimunya Most Likely Candidate For Powerful Budget Committee
Former Finance minister Amos Kimunya is likely to chair the Budget and Appropriations Committee in the National Assembly.The Kipipiri MP-elect, who seems to be winning the backing of a majority of MPs in the Jubilee Party is likely to head the crucial committee tasked with allocating resources to the National Treasury.
He is set to replace Mutava Musyimi who lost his Mbeere South parliamentary seat in the just-concluded election.
The former minister had a rough time during his tenure in the Finance ministry during which he was blamed for the loss of Sh1.8 billion over the procurement of money-printing services.
A report by the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) chaired by then Ikolomani MP Boni Khalwale claimed that Kimunya canceled a long-term contract worth Sh3.8 billion for 1.71 billion pieces of banknotes, and decided to go for four short-term contracts that cost the taxpayer Sh5.6 billion for 1.49 billion pieces of bank notes. Though De La Rue got the deal on May 4, 2006, for printing new generation banknotes smaller in size and with advanced security features — Kimunya canceled the contract in November 2007, saying that the government wanted to go into a joint venture with De La Rue.
The Khalwale-led committee said the procurement procedures as contained in the Public Procurement Act were not followed. Kimunya was later to face another storm involving billions of shillings in the sale of the then Grand Regency Hotel.
Meanwhile, Kikuyu MP Kimani Ichung’wa is also poised to replace Kajiado South MP Metito ole Katoo as the Majority Whip. According to sources, Ichungw’a is seen as more vibrant to hold the office. Katoo is being blamed for lackluster performance in the House. Kieni MP Kanini Kega is lobbying to chair the Energy Committee, a position that was held in the last Parliament byformer Kigumo MP Jamleck Kamau.
The Opposition is also positioning itself for the two powerful oversight committees the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) and the Public Investment Committee (PIC) — which are set aside for the minority party in Parliament. Lobbying is in top gear as the members, especially those serving a second term, position themselves for the more influential committees.
The exercise to constitute the committees is set to move a notch higher immediately after the swearing-in of MPs on Tuesday next week.