NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 28 – Members of the National Assembly will have to wait until next week to debate the amended Public Accounts Committee (PAC) report on examination of the financial statements of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC).
This is after Temporary Deputy Speaker Patrick Mariru (Laikipia West) deferred commencement of debate to Tuesday next week following a request from Majority Leader Aden Duale (Garissa Township).
“I had an engagement earlier with the PAC Chairman… he has asked me to convey to the House Business Committee that we have stepped down this Order and we re-schedule it to another date maybe next week on Tuesday when the House Business Committee meets.”
“You remember this is the report they said has lost the heart and the kidney; so maybe he is looking for the kidney or an artificial heart,” Duale told the House sitting on Wednesday.
PAC Vice-chairperson Jessica Mbalu (Kibwezi East) backed the Majority Leader’s request noting that they will need more time to comprehensively present and prosecute their findings.
“Out of consultations with the Chair and the Leader of Majority, we did propose that because this is a very important Committee and report that we request it be moved to another sitting so that we can cross-examine the report as the Speaker ruled,” Mbalu explained.
However, Kiminini MP Chris Wamalwa appealed to Mariru to throw out the entire report arguing that it has been mutilated after substantive House Speaker Justin Muturi declared as inadmissible recommendations calling for IEBC Chairman Wafula Chebukati alongside Commissioners Boya Molu and Abdi Guliye to vacate office noting indictment in the loss of at least Sh9 billion through procurement during the 2017 elections.
“The report was tabled and a Notice of Motion was given, so if it has lost the heart and the kidney, we cannot rejuvenate it. The best thing is to kill the report. So we should not give them time so that they can go and find some excuses. This is a property of the House and we must pronounce ourselves,” the Minority Deputy Whip agitated amid jeers from PAC members.
The Committee had further recommended the investigation of former Vice Chairperson Consolata Nkatha and former commissioners Margaret Mwachanya and Paul Kurgat for influencing the purchase of the Kenya Integrated Electoral Management Systems (KIEMS) kits for Sh6.8 billion.
Muturi declared the recommendation be expunged out of the report after he found PAC had overstepped its mandate in calling for the removal of the IEBC Commissioners, a function which can only be executed through a petition filed in the National Assembly.
According a Notice on Thursday’s Order Paper in accordance with the Speaker’s Communication of Thursday, March 14, 2019, the following parts of the report were declared inadmissible and subsequently expunged:
(i) The words “To that end, the Commissioners, Chief Executive Officer and the Directors who were involved in the unlawful procurement should vacate office immediately upon adoption of this report to allow for much needed reforms to be effected to restore public confidence in the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission” in the General Recommendation No. 3 appearing at pages 4 and 127, of the Report in so far as it relates to the IEBC Commissioners;
(ii) Sections 4.0 and 34.0 of the Report relating to “Basis for Committee Recommendation for Vacation of Office” appearing on pages 6, 7, 129 and 130 of the Report in so far as it relates to the IEBC Commissioners;
(iii) The second sub-paragraph of paragraph 3 of the General Recommendation No. 3, appearing at page 4, which states that “To that end, the Chief Executive Officer and the Directors (emphasis on staff) who were involved in the unlawful procurement should vacate office immediately upon adoption of this report to allow for much needed reforms to be effected to restore public confidence in the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission.”