, NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 19 – National Assembly Minority Leader Francis Nyenze has opposed the proposal to dissolve the Public Accounts Committee and reconstitute it afresh.
Speaking after appearing before the Powers and Privileges Committee probing alleged corruption and abuse of privileges by PAC members, Nyenze said the dissolution would lock out innocent MPs.
“Before we put people into those committees we consider competence, passion, people’s interest in those committees, but if you disband the whole committee of 27 members and it could be that those accused are only three or five, you disrupt the whole committee. Let those who are culpable and it is proved beyond reasonable doubt be dealt with, and not the whole committee because if you disband the whole of it, what happens to the innocents people? “posed Nyenze.
Majority Leader Aden Duale and Deputy Minority Leader Jakoyo Midiwo had proposed that the committee be dissolved as the issues that have dogged the watchdog committee would make it difficult for them to work together as the members had even attempted to oust their chairman Ababu Namwamba.
He also opposed the proposal to have PAC chaired by the Leader of Minority who coincidentally is himself, saying this would create a dictator in the leader since he would wield a lot of power.
“It is not that I am not capable, the modern trends are that we try to devolve power and share it, but if you are the Minority Leader, the Chairman of PAC; you are in the House Business Committee, you are accumulating so power in one person. It’s not good to concentrate power in one person,” he added.
He also opposed the proposals by Duale and Midiwo to give the PAC chairman security of tenure saying this would make the individual ‘big headed’.
“It’s good to create some kind of vulnerability so that the chairman knows that if he does wrong, the committee members can remove him by voting him out,” said Nyenze.
Nyenze said any of the party members who will be found to have engaged in corruption would be punished by the Opposition to ensure their integrity was protected.
He however supported Duale’s and Midiwo’s bid to strengthen the Powers and Privileges Committee to investigate corruption allegation against members, saying this would also deal with Members of Parliament fond of mentioning their colleagues in corruption cases without having evidence.
He added that this has been constantly used by political rivals to tarnish each other’s names.
Defence Principal Secretary Mutea Iringo who is alleged to have bribed certain members of the committee to expunge his name from a report is expected to appear before the committee on Tuesday next week to respond to the allegations.
A 15-minute recording Namwamba which is yet to be admitted by the committee publicised a conversation where Iringo is mentioned by one of the members as having bribed certain members of PAC so that they could write a report with regard to ‘confidential expenditure’ in his favour.