A session of a Senate committee was forced to end prematurely on Wednesday after two lawmakers physically assaulted each other over the controversial elections of the House Health Committee.
Senators Beatrice Kwamboka and Mary Seneta exchanged and kicks tearing each other’s clothes over the controversial election of Narok Senator Ledama Ole Kina as the committee vice-chair.
The committee was scheduled to hold its elections to choose its chairperson and his deputy.
While Trans Nzoia Senator Michael Mbito was elected unopposed, his Narok counterpart Ledama Ole Kina expected to be voted unopposed too.
This after Kisumu Senator Fred Outa proposed Ole Kina and seconded by nominated Senator Kwamboka as a sole candidate for the position in line with the new working relationship between President Uhuru Kenyatta and Orange Democratic Movement leader Raila Odinga.
However, nominated Senator Farhiya Ali, who is not a member of the committee but had come to the committee to step in for her counterpart Beth Mugo and was scheduled to cast a vote for or against, controversially nominated Senator Seneta to vie for vice-chair alongside Ole Kina.
Though, it was not clear who seconded Seneta, the Chairperson Senator Michael Mbito proceeded to call for a vote for the position.
As the committee was readying itself to cast their ballot, Farhiya momentarily stepped out and came back armed with signature to vote on behalf of nominated Senator Milicent Omanga.
“I have instructions to vote on behalf of Milicent Omanga, who is a member of this committee,” Farhiya, said even as committee members termed her move as fictitious.
“This is unacceptable, we won’t allow it to proceed this way,” Kwamboka, who is also the deputy minority whip.
Senator Omanga, who is awaiting the verdict of the Jubilee Party Disciplinary committee after skipping State House was reportedly backing the election of Ole Kina.
While, Seneta, who eased her way out of the Deputy President William Ruto’s camp, and is awaiting the Jubilee Party disciplinary committee verdict was purportedly being backed by a section of committee members through Senator Farhiya, who is also the deputy majority chief whip.
In their endeavor to have Seneta installed as the committee’s second in command, they allegedly forged a signature of Senator Omanga.
“Since we cannot verify or authenticate, the claims of Senator Farhiya Ali of being instructed to step in to vote on behalf of Milicent Omanga who is not present, we will have to adjourn this sitting,” Senator Mbito ruled.
House rules provide that a whip can nominate another member who is not a member of that particular committee through the authorization of the House Speaker.
After adjournment of the committee session, the drama over the alleged forgery of Ms Omanga’s signature spilt outside the Senate chambers as Kwamboka and Seneta insulted each other with unprintable words.
“You cannot tell me anything, mimi ni mtu ya Raila Odinga and I am in the leadership. I will deal with you,” Kwamboka said while aiming for Seneta’s neck.
But speaking to journalists shortly after the confrontations, Kwamboka downplayed the altercation claiming “it was a friendly fight.”
“We are friends with Mary Seneta, there is nothing much but I will make sure she is out of that committee,” She told People Daily at parliament Buildings.
Contacted, Senator Ole Kina has attributed his woes to the “powers that be” claiming they are against him being elected in any committee as chairman or vice.
“You have seen what happened, they don’t want me to lead any house committee,” the senator said.
He added: “How comes I have troubles in every committee I am elected to lead. I was elected the chair of CPAIC. I was kicked out and now vice-chair of the Health Committee, the powers that be are against me,” a disappointed Ole Kina asserted.