Okemo blocked from tabling Grand Regency report

August 7, 2008 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, August 7 – A parliamentary committee has been stopped from tabling its report on the controversial sale of the Grand Regency hotel in the House, after the Deputy Speaker ruled that proper procedure was not followed.
Farah Maalim told Nambale MP Chris Okemo, who chairs the House committee on Finance and Trade, that he could not table the report because it had not been circulated to members as required.

“I’m informed by the Clerks office of this anomaly and subsequently you cannot lay this paper here until you conform to this requirement,” Maalim ruled before a hushed House.

The Committee was mandated by House Speaker Kenneth Marende two weeks ago to investigate all matters on the hotel’s sale and present its report to Parliament Thursday afternoon.

Gem MP Jakoyo Midiwo was subsequently kicked out of the House for trying to raise the issue after the Speaker had ruled on the matter.

This means that the report will now be tabled in October as Parliament is expected to proceed on a two month recess Thursday.

Details of the report are scanty because House committee meetings are held in camera,

Lands minister James Orengo kicked up a storm when he claimed that CBK had quietly sold the hotel, reclaimed from Kamlesh Pattni, to a Libyan firm for Sh1.9 billion, a figure that was immediately disputed by the then Finance minister Amos Kimunya.

Kimunya left his position temporarily last month after Parliament passed a vote of no-confidence over his role in the saga.

Retired Chief Justice Abdul Majid Cockar is also leading investigations into the controversial sale of the Hotel.

President Mwai Kibaki appointed the commission of inquiry that Cockar leads last month to investigate the sale of the luxury hotel.

The commission is studying the circumstances leading to the sale of the hotel and the role played by Kimunya, Central Bank governor Njuguna Ndung’u, and any other individual who was involved.

The team is expected to report its findings and recommendations by the end of this month.


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