- Committee said CS must find time once every month since there are some questions that can only be answered by him
- Matiang'i has promised committee chairs on Monday of an improved relationship between CSs and senators.
The Senate Committee on National Security, Defence and Foreign Relations has resolved Interior CS Fred Matiang'i should appear in person before the panel once every month.
The committee acknowledged the busy nature of the ministry could not allow the CS to appear as frequently as members would want to authoritatively answer many pressing questions.
“Because of the nature of the work at the ministry, we will only insist the CS appears before this committee once a month, even if it is for one hour,” vice chairman Fred Outa said.
The decision was arrived at after Matiang'i failed to appear before the committee on Wednesday morning to respond to queries from Wajir Senator Ibrahim Ali.
Matiang'i sent Interior Chief Administrative Secretary Hussein Dado to respond to queries.
Dado said the Cabinet Secretary could not honour the invitation because he had other security engagements.
Outa said some questions that can only be answered by the Cabinet Secretary himself, and no one else from the ministry.
“We know that he (Matiang'i) is sometimes overwhelmed with work and that is why we want him only once in a month. We expect no excuses for not coming before us just once in four weeks,” Outa said.
Lands Cabinet Secretary Farida Karoney ran into trouble with senators on Tuesday for snubbing a meeting.
Karoney failed to honour an invite of the joint Security and Land, Environment and Natural Resources committee. Senators demanded the committee summon her to explain why she could not show up even after Matiang'i had promised an improved relationship between CSs and House members.
Matiang'i, who chairs the National Development Implementation and Communication Cabinet Committee, had met the Senate Liaison Committee led by Speaker Ken Lusaka on Monday to discuss thawing their frosty relationship.
The ice-breaking meeting at a Nairobi hotel was also attended by Karoney, James Macharia (Transport), Peter Munya (Agriculture), Mutahi Kagwe (Health), Sicily Kariuki (Water), Eugene Wamalwa (Devolution) and Attorney General Paul Kihara.
Matiang'i said committee chairs had implored them to cultivate a better working relationship with House members.
Lusaka said CSs agreed to work hand in hand with senators to fast-track legislation and safeguard devolution. “We have agreed on various issues, among them cultivating a good working relationship," he said.
(Edited by V. Graham)