, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jun, 26 – Members of Parliament have given Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiangi the last chance to appear before the Joint Parliamentary Committee probing the entry of contaminated sugar into the Kenyan Market on Thursday at 8am or have him summoned.
Summonses are mandatory and are issued after individuals fail to honour two invitations from a parliamentary committee.
Matiangi was expected to appear before the committee Tuesday but a cancellation letter was sent to the committee attributing his unavailability to the East African Summit that kicked off in Nairobi on Tuesday.
He later sent another letter to the Speaker saying he could not appear before the committee because it would prejudice the matters which are under investigation.
The Kanini Kega-led Committee was however not pleased, with some MPs saying the CS was giving excuses because he was not ready to tell Kenyans the truth.
Adan Haji expressed his disappointment in Matiangi saying he is the genesis of the whole sugar saga debate and he should come clean on his allegations that the sugar contained mercury.
“It looks like the minister is not and will not be ready to appear before this honourable committee and substantiate his allegations,” said Haji.
Dagoretti North Member of Parliament Simba Arati, a member of Agriculture Committee argued that Matiangi is taking Kenyans for a ride and he should be summoned.
“Chair, this is a serious committee… how important is the meeting that Matiangi is telling us he is attending over what we are supposed to discuss with him? He should be summoned,” said Arati.
His sentiments were echoed by Kwanza MP Ferdinand Wanyonyi who called on Matiangi to take the sugar scandal seriously and lessen the heated debate his allegation had caused.
“Since the minister has refused to appear before this committee three times, it is high time this committee writes a demanding letter to summon him,” said Wanyonyi.
Meanwhile, the joint committee has also called on all the directors/importers of the companies that have been mentioned in the probe to appear before it on Thursday.
Kega was however keen not to mention the specific names of the importers who are expected to face the committee.
The joint committee is left with seven days to table a report of the sugar probe to Parliament as directed by House Speaker Justin Muturi.