, NAIROBI, Kenya Mar 1 – National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi has defended a ruling he made regarding clash of mandates of departmental and watchdog committees of Parliament.
The ruling was made following a tussle between the Abdullswamad Nassir-led Public Investments Committee and the Transport, Public Works and Housing Committee chaired by David Pkosing, both angling to investigate the proposed takeover of the management, operation, maintenance and upgrade of the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) by Kenya Airways.
Clerk of the National Assembly Michael Sialai through a statement to newsrooms said the Speaker is making the clarification after the PIC Chairman Abdullswamad Nassir sought his guidance on the ruling, which gave the Transport Committee the upper hand to probe the matter.
“According to the 411 media SMSs that have been coming in from both the Standard Media and Capital…they are saying that you have instructed the PIC and you have put us on the sidebar,” stated the legislator.
In breaking the story, Capital Newsbeat was relying on letter dated February 21, 2019 Muturi had sent to the Transport committee chairman David Pkosing and copied it to Nassir as the PIC chairman, in which he disclosed that PIC could only deal with a query arising from the examination of audited reports and accounts of Kenya Airports Authority or a special audit.
Muturi (who chaired the powerful House investment watchdog Committee during his term as Siakago MP between 2002-2007), said allowing both the Nassir and David Pkosing teams to go on with independent parallel investigations would not lead to a duplication of roles.
“While a matter of major government policy as this falls within the mandate of the Departmental Committee on Transport, Public Works and Housing as contemplated by Standing Order No. 206,7(a) of the National Assembly, the Public Investment Committee on the other hand has an extended jurisdiction to examine whether the affairs of the Public investments are being managed in accordance with sound financial or business principle, and prudent financial practices and therefore PIC can properly be seized of the same matter,” Sialai stated in the statement.
Speaker asked the PIC to only handle audit queries that may arise from the plan by Kenya Airways to take over the management of JKIA.
“Upon the conclusion of the Special Audit the Public Investments Committee is expected to inquire into the matter comprehensively and report to the House.”
“Therefore, the insinuation that the Speaker has stopped any committee of the House from enquiry into this matter of the national importance is incorrect and far-fetched,” read the statement.
In the 2014, Speaker Muturi found himself in a similar position as once again the two House team then under Adan Keynan (PIC) and Maina Kamanda (Transport) publicly differed on whose mandate it is to investigate the multi-billion shilling Standard Gauge Railway project.