• The Kenya Kwanza legislators want the President and the Senate to sanction the CSs for constantly skipping Senate invites to respond to various questions on the floor on the House.
• The senators poured out their anger and frustration after Mudavadi, Ndung’u and Chirchir gave the Senate’s invite a wide berth on Wednesday.
President William Ruto’s troops in the Senate are baying for blood of some of his Cabinet secretaries for allegedly showing contempt and disrespect to the House.
Prime Cabinet Secretary Musalia Mudavadi, Treasury CS Njuguna Ndung'u and his Energy counterpart Davis Chirchir are among those facing the lawmakers’ wrath.
The Kenya Kwanza legislators want the President and the Senate to sanction the CSs for constantly skipping Senate invites to respond to various questions on the floor on the House.
“Before the end of this year, you [Speaker] should do a letter especially to the head of state himself [about the conduct of the CS],” Deputy Speaker Kathuri Murungi said.
The Meru Senator, a close ally of the President, led senators in condemning the CSs and calling for their sanction over their continued disrespect of the House.
“CSs who are not honouring this House should be sanctioned so that they can respect this House,” he said.
The senators poured out their anger and frustration after Mudavadi, Ndung’u and Chirchir gave the Senate’s invite a wide berth on Wednesday.
The three had been scheduled to appear before the whole House of the Senate to respond to various queries by members.
The three also failed to show up before the senators last week.
“We have received letters from the three CSs that they will not be able to attend this session for purposes of responding to these questions,” Speaker Amason Kingi had said earlier, triggering anger among the lawmakers.
He told the House that he received letters from Mudavadi on Wednesday morning indicating that he had travelled abroad and he would not be able to honour the invite.
Mudavadi was expected to respond to a question from Turkana Senator James Lomenen about the fate of Kenyan pastoralists who have been jailed in Uganda.
“When will the government intervene to ensure the release of the pastoralists?” his question on the Order Paper read.
The 32 Kenyan pastoralists from Urum and Lokiriama villages in Turkana county were allegedly arrested by Ugandan authorities in April, tried and sentenced to 20 years in jail.
Chirchir was to appraise senators on the Government-to-Government (G-to-G) agreement between Kenya and the Gulf countries for the supply of fuel, including the terms of the agreement, the countries or entities involved and the duration of the agreement.
“What is the per-litre cost of oil under this agreement and how does this cost compare to the prevailing market rates,” a question by Kisii Senator Richard Onyonka read.
Senator Murungi wants Ndung’u to explain why there has been a delay in the disbursement of funds to the NHIF, which has led to the non-payment of approved claims of over Sh11.6 billion.
The senators said the CSs’ no-show portrays total disrespect, an act that they said should attract punishment by the House.
“The Prime Cabinet Secretary has alerted the Senate this morning, CS Treasury has alerted the Senate this morning. This is not the first time the PCS is failing to appear before this House,” Khalwale said.
"If this does not apply to attitude, then what does it mean? PCS has an attitude against this House. He had a seven-day window during which he knew he was going to travel and he would have informed his House in time,” he added.
Khalwale said Parliament should call the current Cabinet to order, otherwise, the August House risks losing its strength and mandate to check the Executive arm of government.
“I beg you [Speaker] today to sanction them otherwise the Senate will look like a baraza in Malinya. That cannot be the case,” he said.
Kiambu Senator Karungo Thang'wa asked the President and Parliament to act on the CSs who are ignoring the Houses of Parliament.
He said the Senate should invoke provisions of the Parliamentary Powers and Privileges Act and fine the evasive CSs.
“When we are elected to this House, the President implored us to amend Standing Orders so that CSs can appear before us to answer questions.”
“We had the support of the head of state. So, if they don’t appear, they not only show contempt to this House but also to the President of this republic. As the feeling of many members, please crack the whip,” Thang'wa told the Speaker.
Deputy Minority leader Enoch Wambua implored the Speaker to crack on the whip on the CSs mocking him and the Senate.
“Mr Speaker, do something. Do not allow these people to mock you because that is what they are doing. Mr Speaker, do something,” he said.