National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi has directed a pollster, whose survey on MPs’ performance has infuriated some lawmakers, to appear before the House Education Committee.
The recent ranking of best and worst performing MPs by Infotrak Research and Consulting sparked an uproar in the House Tuesday prompting the Speaker to summon the firm’s CEO, Ms Angela Ambitho, to appear before the committee to explain the methodology used.
Mr Muturi’s directive came after a section of legislators led by Suba North MP Millie Odhiambo, who was ranked the worst, accused Infotrak of playing politics.
The legislators claimed that, while some of them had not been called about the survey, those called had been asked to pay bribes.
The Speaker told the House that Ms Ambitho will present herself before the Education and Research Committee to provide the information regarding the parameters used, the people interviewed and the size of the sample.
The committee chaired by Busia Woman Representative Florence Mutua also has instructions to ensure that the parameters that Ms Ambitho will present, if any, have a bearing on the functions of an MP serving in the National Assembly.
While releasing the survey on Sunday, Ms Ambitho said that she used phone interviews to gather data on the performance of the 290 MPs from the single-member constituencies and 47 county woman representatives.
Nominated MPs not ranked
However, the 12 nominated members were not ranked. She attributed the scores to a number of factors including legislative prowess, proper handling of public finances, development projects or “the personal touch, interpersonal skills and charisma with which the politicians handle their electorate”.
“You can’t be calling people on the streets and asking them to rank MPs,” Speaker Muturi noted. Leader of majority Amos Kimunya (Kipipiri), Aden Duale (Garissa Township), Makali Mulu (Kitui Central) and Peter Mwathi (Limuru) dismissed the poll.
“When a researcher calls the subject to discuss the findings you are basically influencing the results of the research,” Mr Kimunya said.