Junet Mohamed has a new cook. And he was dying to let the world know. He would have shouted from the rooftops had he known how to climb roofs.
On Wednesday, a bubbly Junet, drenched in ecstasy, took to the floor of the House to boast of his latest achievement.
In the two weeks that the House had been on recess, the Minority Whip who worked with the Majority leadership to craft a new lineup of committee membership was persuaded that Kikuyu Member of Parliament Kimani Ichung'wa's future lay in the kitchen and not in balancing books.
A bird had whispered to him that Ichung'wa ran a chain of butcheries in Kikuyu town. The choice to slot him into the Committee of Members Services and Facilities, formerly the Catering Committee, was, therefore, a no-brainer.
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Several MPs had called requesting to be placed in lucrative committees, as Junet divulged, but he paid little attention to their pleas. All he was interested in was keeping his digestive system running.
Ichung'wa’s illustrious past as Chair of the Budget Committee had the Minority Whip thrilled about what the future held.
So when he stood to speak, he didn’t labour much to spell out the roles of the Alliance High School old-boy, he knew he was equal to the new task.
But even his trust had its limits, evidenced by the subtle caution he sounded.
“If the quality of my tea and mandazi goes down, I will only blame honourable Ichung'wa,” Junet warned.
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As eager as he is to sample Ichung'wa’s cooking, he will have to wait a bit, well, until normalcy resumes which, as things stand now, is not in the foreseeable future.
Behind the hearty chuckle as he made this concession, there was a grain of disappointment in Junet’s eyes.
The Kikuyu MP, it appears, has a talent for reading people’s faces and just as Junet was about to despair, he stood to offer some reassurance.
“Members services include you being facilitated to be in this House this morning… I will make sure, honourable Junet, that you are properly facilitated,” he said, revealing that the Suna East MP may have been selling himself short.
All along, Junet thought he was only getting a chef. Turns out he was also getting a butler, a housekeeper and a help.
Ichung'wa’s seemingly well-intentioned clarification, however, portrayed him as some sort of sadist.
For when his colleague from the minority side had just found his smile again, he dropped the bombshell that he would be every member’s servant, not just his. Worse, he was keener to serve the older MPs.
But perhaps the former chair of Budget isn't a bad guy. Maybe Junet just couldn’t afford his services.
Imagine how expensive it must be to hire a mheshimiwa
to conduct homely duties, going by the rates they charge mwananchi
on days they heckle.
Granted, the two-time lawmaker doesn’t pass off as someone in any kind of need, but perhaps his recent trip to the Emirates dented his account. Assuming, in the unlikely event, that taxpayers didn’t foot the bill.
In other news, former Majority Leader Aden Duale finally showed up. All that was needed, apparently, was to lure him with the promise of a seat labelled ‘ranking member’.
Further afield, Kiminini MP Chris Wamalwa threw a fit of jealousy. Reason? His successor as Deputy Minority Whip, Eseli Simiyu, was in more committees than he had been in during his term in office.