Speaker Moses Wetangula has declared that Embakasi West MP Mark Mwenje will now assume the role of Deputy Minority Whip in the National Assembly, succeeding Nominated MP Sabina Chege.
This comes after about five months of negotiations, disagreements, court decisions, and even threats from various political entities.
Wetangula’s decision on Wednesday afternoon finally resolved the leadership uncertainty within the Jubilee Party.
“That there currently exist no bar against the decision made by the minority party to replace its Whip. Standing order 20a(5) requires the Speaker to communicate the decision to replace the Whip to the House, in this regard, Hon Mark Mwenje forth replaces Sabina Chege as the Deputy Whip of the minority party,” the Speaker pronounced.
Speaker Wetangula nonetheless expressed concern about the confusion within the Jubilee Party, having received conflicting communications regarding its status in the Azimio la Umoja One Kenya coalition party.
In his ruling, Wetangula directed that the Jubilee Party be acknowledged as a Parliamentary party, meeting the standing orders’ requirement of having more than 18 MPs, with 21 MPs supporting Sabina Chege.
“The Jubilee Party is hereby recognized as a Parliamentary party, but this recognition does not in any way elevate it or affect the status given to the majority party and the minority party by the Constitution and the standing orders,” Wetangule said.
While expressing gratitude to the Speaker for his ruling, Minority Leader Opiyo Wandayi acknowledged that Sabina had been occupying the office illegally for five months. As a result, he urged for appropriate compensation for Mark Mwenje.
“Our position as a party is that Sabina has been holding that office illegally, Mwenje has been working since the 30th of May 2023, and he deserves to be compensated for the work he has been doing,” Wandayi told the House.