PAC questions Mwatela move

September 11, 2008 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, September 11 – The Parliamentary Accounts Committee (PAC) has criticised President Mwai Kibaki’s decision to replace Jacinta Mwatela as Central Bank Deputy Governor.

Committee Chairman Bony Khalwale said Thursday that the President broke the law when he moved Mwatela to the Ministry of Northern Kenya and other arid areas as Permanent Secretary.

Members of the Committee resolved to raise the matter when Parliament resumes in October.

“We read mischief and we will request for a ministerial statement from the relevant ministry over the transfer,” he said.

Section 14 (2) of the CBK Act sets out the instances under which the appointment of Governor, Deputy Governor or a director can be terminated by the President.

Any of the three can be removed if judged bankrupt, convicted of an offence involving dishonesty, fraud, moral turpitude or declared to be of unsound mind.

In the case of Mwatela, none of these apply.

Mwatela who has been at the Central Bank for close to 30 years was replaced by Dr Hezron Nyangito who was previously the Medical Services Permanent Secretary.

Elsewhere, the Parliamentary Committee on Education has advised Education Minister Sam Ongeri to consider negotiating with the Kenya Union of Post Primary Education Teachers (KUPPET), over their salary increment demands.

Committee Chairman David Koech said the minister should establish the membership of KUPPET, before dismissing their demands.

“The minister has the right to ensure that the people he is negotiating with are people who are gazetted. If they are not he should not even think of talking to them,” he added.

Ongeri has previously refused to dialogue with KUPPET saying their current membership is about three percent.

The law allows the minister to enter into negotiations with a body that has over 51 percent membership.

The committee at the same time called for conclusive investigations into the wave of strikes that took place in over 300 secondary schools last term.

Koech, whose committee has been probing the unrest questioned why majority of students involved in the burning of dormitories in July were yet to be arraigned in court.

“They should be seen to be acting not just talking because it has come out clearly that not all students were involved in the strikes, the innocent should be saved,” he said.



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