MPs create new position for independents

Independent candidates have something to look forward to in the next Parliament after the National Assembly decided to create a new watchdog committee designated to be headed by an MP who enters the House without a party.

Under new Standing Orders for the next lot of MPs is the Special Funds Accounts Committee, which will be chaired by an independent MP.

The committee’s mandate will be the scrutiny of the Auditor-General’s reports on the accounts of political parties, the Constituency Development Fund and specialised funds such as the Women, Youth and Affirmative Action.

“These are very radical proposals,” National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi told the Nation.

Politically, the creation of the special committee with an independent as its head could be taken as an endorsement and an acknowledgement of their place in the next Parliament.

It is also bound to create political competition in the House, although a change will probably need to be made in case no independents are elected.

Independents are under siege as most of them lost in the party nominations and only became partyless a few days to the deadline for submission of their candidacy.

“Failing to prepare for it is actually burying our heads in the sand. Even now, we already have four independents. Suppose one of them wanted it.

“Since they are independent, the Auditor-General’s reports on political parties funds will now be on the spot,” Mr Muturi said.

The House shuts down on Thursday before its term ends on August 8.


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