NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 1 – National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi has assured the public of his commitment to ensure House committees deliver their mandate as expected without fear or favor.
Speaking during a parliamentary forum for committees on Thursday, Muturi defended Parliament from corruption allegations and associated them with lack of awareness on what members do besides attending morning and afternoon sessions.
“I can confirm that some members have faced the wrath of their constituents due to this general negative perception of parliament which can be attribute to lack of awareness on the functioning of the institution of parliament,” Muturi said.
“This inaugural event is therefore timely as it does not only give the needed impetus to the government’s agenda of accountability of parliament but also creates awareness on functioning of parliament through committees.”
In an event where live broadcast for committee proceedings was also launched, Minority Leader John Mbadi said members of the public will now have a chance to see what MPs do in committees adding that lack of a legal framework to govern public participation in parliament has contributed to negative notion about MPs by the public.
“You will realize that apart from legislation which is transacted largely at the plenary the other functions are transacted by committees. Parliament delivers its oversight role through committees and therefore it is important for the public to know that MPs not only legislate, but also handles other transactions in their respective committees,” Mbadi said.
Cases of corruption in committees have been reported with MPs are said to be colluding during the investigation of various sagas to absolve indicted officials of wrongdoing.
A section of MPs from a joint Trade and Agriculture Committee were accused of having been compromised by those who were being investigated in order for them to give a favorable report.
In 2015, Public Accounts Committee (PAC) headed by then Budalangi MP Ababu Namwamba was disbanded after committee members were accused of receiving bribes amounting to Sh1.5 million from then Interior Principal Secretary Mutea Iringo to obliterate his name from the committee’s report.
The Principal Secretary was under PAC investigations over how the Interior Ministry spent Sh2.9 billion from a secret fund.