- Agriculture CS Mithika Linturi now faces severe sanctions including a Sh500,000 and arrest for snubbing senators for a record 11 months.
- The CS has failed to honour the Senate Agriculture Committee’s invites and summons for a record six times – since November last year – triggering fierce anger among the members.
Agriculture CS Mithika Linturi now faces severe sanctions including a Sh500,000 fine and arrest for snubbing senators for a record 11 months.
The CS has failed to honour the Senate Agriculture Committee’s invites and summons for a record six times—since November last year— triggering fierce anger among the members.
“We have invited and summoned the CS on several occasions from last year,” Bungoma Senator David Wakoli said.
Yesterday, Linturi failed to honour a summon that was issued two weeks ago following his failure to honour a previous one.
“I’m directing that a fresh summon be issued to the Cabinet Secretary to appear before us on Thursday next week, failure to which, the sanctions shall apply,” Makueni Senator Dan Maanzo said.
Maanzo chaired the session where the CS was summoned to respond an array of statements sought by senators since last year.
The committee is substantively chaired by Kirinyaga Senator James Murango with Embu Senator Alexander Mundigi as the vice chairperson.
The CS had written to the committee indicating he was attending a Cabinet meeting at State House.
“Let’s give him the benefit of the doubt, the final one because Cabinet business is an official business of the CS. But he must appear on Thursday because that’s not a Cabinet day,” Maanzo said.
Two weeks ago, the CS failed to show up and instead sent his technical officers on grounds that he was sick.
“Today we had summoned him but fortunately or unfortunately he has a cabinet meeting and therefore we cannot meet,” Wakoli said.
“We are operating in a scenario called musical chairs. I believe we should handle this matter as the pumpkin and the snake. We should just penalise,” he added.
Section 19 of the Parliamentary Powers and Privileges Act permits parliamentary committees impose fines not exceeding Sh500,000 if a witness summoned does not appear or appears to satisfy the relevant committee.
The committee is pursuing the CS to explain among others the controversial importation 10,000 bags of maize by his ministry.
The government imported the maize in November last year, even before an official gazette notice was released to legally allow imports.
The CS is also expected to respond to questions regarding the state of macadamia nut production and marketing.
This is after the government lifted the ban on export of macadamia before the same was suspended by the Hight Court.
Linturi is also supposed to explain the impact of the recent drought on the livestock industry in Kenya as well as the relaunch of strategic food reserve.
He said supposed to explain the criteria used by the government in the distribution of subsidised fertiliser.
Wakoli said many senators have sought statements on critical matters concerning the ministry, especially food situation in the country on the floor from last year, but has not been responded because of the CS’s absence.
“That is why we want to tighten our grip on the matters, and on him, particularly. We are definitely (going to) fine him if he doesn’t come next week,” Wakoli said.
Yesterday, the lawmakers issued a fresh summons to the CS to appear in person on Thursday next week or they impose a fine on him.
Senator Mundigi agreed with his colleagues to give the CS one more chance to put his act together or he faces the music.