NAIROBI, Kenya Jun 4 – The Speaker of the National Assembly Justin Muturi has reprimanded members of Public Accounts Committee for leaking a report to the media on the procurement of the so-called ‘Hustler’s Jet’ for Deputy President William Ruto’s shuttle diplomacy.
Muturi, who took issue with publication of the report before it was tabled in Parliament, has directed the committee’s chairman Ababu Namwamba to immediately commence investigations into the source of the leakage.
“Everyone should know that any contravention on the rule against unauthorised disclosure may constitute contempt of Parliament for which this House will not hesitate to take necessary punitive action to mitigate against such breaches,” the Speaker ruled.
He added: “I leave the PAC members to be pricked by their conscience even as they carry out investigations promised by their chairman.”
The Speaker has further directed the Clerk of the National Assembly to amend the title of the report which read ‘The Hustler’s Jet Inquiry’ terming use of the word ‘Hustler’ as unparliamentarily.
“I direct the Clerk to cause the sub-title ‘The Hustler’s Jet Inquiry Report’ to be deleted forthwith and the report be published minus the offending words for consideration by the House,” Muturi stated in his Communication to the House.
Budalang’i MP Ababu Namwamba came under fire when he tabled the report on April 24, after Majority Leader Aden Duale protested that the report was leaked to the media.
The report recommended that four senior officers in the Deputy President’s Office including Administrative Secretary Abdul Mwasera, Senior Assistant Director of Supply Chain Management Evans Nyachio, Senior Finance Officer Paul Kamau, and Supply Chain Management Officer Simon Okoth be investigated because they were involved in acts of omission and commission that were consistent with a well-choreographed scheme to circumvent procurement rules.
The watchdog committee was categorical that Ruto’s Chief of Staff, Marianne Kitany, who is accused of being complicit, tried to cover up the matter through effecting transfers of staff who were involved in the process.
Although the officials are accused of having acted in concert, Kitany, according to the report, was the lead actor in the alleged conspiracy that led to the breakdown of internal accountability within the DP’s office.
The committee said that her actions, during and in the aftermath of the scam coming to light, reflected an attempt to mislead investigators.
She is accused of misleading the committee on the loss of critical documents, and claiming to have ordered investigations into the loss when in actual fact nothing was being done.
The Committee Report found out that there was no evidence to indicate that the Deputy President was directly involved in the procurement process for the hire of the jet, which was used.