NAIROBI, Kenya, Jun 15 – The Senate has resolved to establish a nine-member Select Committee to probe the move by the National Assembly to reallocate Sh1 billion from their oversight kitty.
According to Elgeyo Marakwet Senator Kipchumba Murkomen, the committee will advise and recommend to the Senate the appropriate constitutional and legal measures to guide them on how to respond to the decision of the National Assembly which also deducted monies from the Judiciary (Sh800 million), the Salaries and Remuneration commission (Sh200 million) and Treasury (Sh325 million for IFMIS program).
Minority Leader Moses Wetangula urged the committee to work with the current calls for a referendum to strengthen the Senate since despite being the Upper House, most of the powers were vested in the National Assembly.
“The committee should look at fast tracking on how in the new move to change the constitution, the Senate becomes the Upper House properly,” said Wetangula.
During a special sitting convened to discuss the deduction of the monies from their budget, Murkomen who moved the motion on behalf of Leader of Majority Kithure Kindiki (Tharaka Nithi), said the Senate will resist attempts by the National Assembly to cripple their activities adding that they will undertake their role despite the looming cash crunch.
“Despite the re-allocations effected and the adverse effects they are calculated to have on its operations, the Senate will zealously continue to discharge its mandate to protect the interests of the counties and their governments,” said Murkomen.
He added the Members of the National Assembly had been clear that their decision was pegged on the fact that the targeted institutions had ‘wronged them’ in one way or another and the deductions were to serve as a punishment, calling on the others not to be intimidated and continue carrying out their functions.
He further noted with concern that these institutions may be bullied into ‘rubber-stamping’ proposals by the National Assembly for fear of being reprimanded saying the Lower House needed to be tamed.
“The independence of these institutions is now compromised as they may now not be impartial in a bid to safeguard the allocation of monies made to them in subsequent financial years,” stated the Elgeyo Marakwet Senator.
Murkomen launched an onslaught on Budget and Appropriations Committee Chairman Mutava Musyimi who made the proposed cuts, saying he had failed Kenyans owing to his career as a religious leader.
“Mark 9:35 is the same scripture he preached and used to call people to the altar call telling them… come ye to Jesus and be meek. I was extremely saddened to see how politics has changed the good Reverend to the extent that he has become what he has become,” said Murkomen.
“I want to remind him the book of Revelations says, come back to your first love!”