NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 31 – The Powers and Privileges Committee probing corruption allegations against the Public Accounts Committee chaired by embattled Budalangi Legislator Ababu Namwamba has recommended the dissolution of the committee.
The recommendations are also calling for the reconstitution of the committee with the exclusion of Ababu Namwamba(Budalangi), Omondi Anyanga (Nyatike), Cecily Mbarire (Runyenjes), James Bett (Kesses) and Ahmed Abass (Ijara) who had been adversely mentioned throughout the probe and had failed to substantiate allegations they made against their colleagues.
The committee also proposed the reprimanding of Namwamba, Abass, Anyanga and Bett for making unsubstantiated allegations against their colleagues and will thus be required apologise.
A similar apology is to be made by Namwamba, Anyanga and Samuel Arama for discussing matters relating to the probe in public even after the Speaker of the National Assembly Justin Muturi had issued directions against it.
The Moses Cheboi- led privileges committee ordered the Committee on Selection to nominate at least six previous members of PAC to continue conducting its watchdog role as the reconstitution process continues.
“Papers including draft reports, minutes, Hansard records and briefs belonging to the previous Public Accounts committee should be safeguarded for handing over to the reconstituted committee,” read the report.
“The House resolves to refer the claims of bribery on the Membership of the Public Accounts Committee relating to the PAC report on the examination of Confidential Expenditure under the office of the President (2012/2013), to the investigative agencies for further probe,” continued the report.
Anyanga is alleged to have received Sh1.5 million from defense Principal Secretary Mutea Iringo to expunge his name from the report on confidential expenditure where it is alleged Iringo embezzled over Sh2.9 billion; the matter is also before the Ethics and Anti Corruption Commission.
Since questions had been raised over a claim that one of the Clerks attached to the committee participated in doctoring reports and conveniently ‘misplacing’ tabled documents, the committee proposed that the secretariat be headed by a senior officer.
“The Clerk of the National Assembly should ensure that the Secretariat of the Public Accounts Committee is headed by an officer not below the rank of Principal Clerk Assistant,” stated the report.
Other proposals include that the privileges committee commences the process of amending the Standing Orders to make PAC which was standing committee a sessional committee, meaning the Chairperson can be changed with every new session.
During the appearance of majority and minority leaders in the National Assembly Aden Duale and Jakoyo Midiwo, proposals to extend the mandate of the privileges committee were made saying it would work together the office of the Administrator of Parliamentary Standards, to be established to investigate cases of financial impropriety.
The committee seemed to have taken this home as it recommended the expansion of its mandate to investigate claims of financial nature involving MPs within and outside the precincts of Parliament and relating to their mandate.
“The House should also commence the process of establishing the office of the Administrator of Parliamentary Standards within Parliament who will be appointed for a fixed term with the approval of the Houses of Parliament to advice the Houses of issues of breach of privilege, the code of conduct of MPs and cases of breach of standards, ethics, and financial impropriety,”
If the report is adopted; members will also be required to register their financial interest with the Administrator of Parliamentary Standards who will be the custodian of the register of standards for all members.