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Kenya

Senate to probe KQ despite National Assembly outcry

 

KQ-PLANES

NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 19 – The Senate Select Committee probing the financial and management problems at national carrier Kenya Airways says it will continue with its investigations despite attacks by the National Assembly.

The committee chaired by Kisumu Senator Anyang’ Nyong’o said they are carrying out their constitutional oversight of State officers.

“We have a national carrier at stake… Sh60 billion at stake, 447 families are suffering out there since 2012. So it is a weighty matter. The Senate was seized of it much earlier and we cannot stop because somebody else thinks it’s now important. We shall continue and we shall also welcome opinion from other quarters,” he said.

Committee Members James Orengo and Billow Kerrow said the Senate was properly seized of the matter as provided in the Constitution.

“The senate plays on its own league and conducts itself in a manner that is substantially different from them. We will continue our work undeterred by whatever noise that are coming from the Lower House,” Mandera County Senator Kerrow said.

Makueni County Senator Mutula Kilonzo Jnr faulted the proposal by Members of the National Assembly to move to the High Court to seek a determination on the roles of the Senate.

“Article 189 (of the Constitution) is very clear, about disputes involving organs in government, if the National Assembly goes to court before taking the alternative dispute resolution contemplated in the Article, they will have violated the Constitution and the person who authorised it, if it is the Speaker of the National Assembly will be personally liable for the legal fees that will be incurred,” Senator Kilonzo said.

Ainabkoi MP Samuel Chepkonga Tuesday led the Lower House in questioning why the Senate was probing the financial and management problems at Kenya Airways yet it does not have a direct effect on the operations of counties.

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The Senate formed the 11-member Select Committee to receive public views on the woes affecting the national carrier weeks before it recorded a net loss of Sh10.5 billion despite the Treasury advancing it a Sh4.5 billion loan.

The Select Committee on Wednesday met Acting Labour Cabinet Secretary Raychelle Omamo, who explained the government’s position on claims that staff at the airline was demoralized due to skewed employment practices.

The Kenya Airlines Pilots Association, Kenya Airways management, led by the Chief Executive Officer Mbuvi Ngunze and board chairman Evanson Mwaniki, Kenya Civil Aviation Authority management, including board chairman Samuel Poghisio and Director-General Gilbert Kibe are among those who have already appeared before the Nyong’o-led team since June when it was sanctioned through a resolution of the Senate.

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