Lawmakers accuse Kibicho, Matiang’i, of snubbing invites
Thursday, April 8th, 2021
- Legislators claim the Interior ministry top brass only appears before them to defend their budget.
- Kitui Homa Bay Town MP has claimed that as a committee they have every reason to believe the Interior Ministry was being “over-protected” to an extent that the Cabinet Secretary and the Principal Secretary believe they are superior to Parliament. “They cannot be superior to Parliament. They must treat matters that have been brought to this House with a lot of seriousness,” he said.
A parliamentary committee has accused Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i and his Principal Secretary Karanja Kibicho of treating the National Assembly with contempt.
The National Assembly Committee on Administration and National Security claims the ministry top brass only appears before them to defend their budget proposals but ignore invites and summons meant to address pertinent issues raised by the members.
Kitui Central MP Makau Mulu says for the last three-and-half years he has served in the panel, the CS and PS have appeared less than three times.
“I can say without any fear of contradiction that we have only met the Cabinet Secretary less than three times,” said Mulu.
He went on: “The only time the PS comes with a full team is when we are discussing the budget.
But when we are deliberating matters as important on various questions from members, they are never there.”
The Kitui lawmaker was reacting to a tweet by Kibicho a fortnight ago in which the PS claimed that a scheduled meeting with the committee chaired by late Kiambaa MP Paul Koinange aborted due to lack of quorum.
“A little bit discouraged that our meeting today by the Parliamentary Committee on Administration and National Security aborted due to lack of quorum, but we are more than ready to respond to the honourable Members’ questions and concerns as soon as they invite us again,” the PS said in a tweeted date March 24.
“This is the fifth meeting we are holding this year as usual, we have elaborate system of answering to parliamentary questions. We were prepared and ready but to our disappointment we have had to call off this meeting.
We hope they are able to organise themselves better next time so that we able to satisfy MPs who are asking important question on behalf of their constituents,” the tweet added.
Mulu faulted the Ministry for tweeting that they were only ready to attend a virtual meeting not even a physical one.
“Security matters are never discussed virtually. They are discussed physically, because they are confidential issues,” the Kitui Central MP held.
Weighing in on the matter, Mbeere South MP Geoffrey Muturi, said the team has been holding sittings and asking the CS and PS to appear before them and many times, they do not show up.
“During the last meeting, Interior Chief Administrative Secretary came after the committee had already dispersed.
There is a lot of frustration,” said Muturi, adding that there are more than 15 questions still pending before the committee.
Homa Bay Town MP Peter Kaluma claimed that for the period he has served in the committee spanning three years; he has never seen the Interior CS appear before it.
According to Kaluma, they only see the Principal Secretary during the budget processes.
“After that, we do not see them again. The one time, the CS came, I remember, he was lecturing the nation through the committee about court orders.
I have been in the committee for three years but I have never seen him,” said Kaluma.
He went on: “We made a special request, because of the nature of the questions we wanted answered.
We want the Cabinet Secretary and the Principal Secretary to appear before the Committee.”