- A Senate watchdog committee has summoned Nairobi Governor Johnson Sakaja and his Nakuru counterpart Susan Kihika for contempt and disregard for its oversight role.
- The Senate County Public Investment and Special Funds Committee charged that the two county chiefs, who are both former senators, have snubbed its invitation at least three times.
A Senate watchdog committee wants Nairobi Governor Johnson Sakaja and his Nakuru counterpart Susan Kihika arrested for contempt and disregard of the Senate.
The Senate County Public Investment and Special Funds Committee has threatened to order the arrest of the county bosses for snubbing its invitation.
The two are being sought to respond to damning audit queries on water and sanitation companies under their jurisdiction.
“We issue a directive that the governor be summoned to appear before this committee on a date to be communicated by the Clerk,” chairman Godfrey Osotsi directed in relation to Sakaja.
The agitated Vihiga senator warned that the panel will not hesitate to invoke its powers to order the police to drag Sakaja to the panel if he fails to heed the summons.
Sakaja, who failed to appear before the committee for the third time on Monday, wrote to the committee, stating that he was out of the country.
The county chief is being sought to explain audit queries for Nairobi City Water and Sewerage Company (NCWSC) for more than five financial years.
However, Osotsi rejected Sakaja’s explanation, stating that the governor was seen on television attending Gor Mahia and AFC Leopards match at Nyayo stadium on Sunday.
“We will invoke the Parliamentary Powers and Privileges Act and ask the Police to arrest him,” he charged.
“The Governor was seen on TV attending a match. You cannot just tell us that you are out of the country. This governor was a former senator and should show examples. We expect governors who were not senators to behave like this but not former senators."
Narok Senator Ledama Olekina questioned why Governor Sakaja would deliver a letter on Friday, May 12, 2023, but the letter was dated May 15, 2023.
“We must apply section 18 of the act and issue summon for the governor to appear. There is no way a letter can be delivered to the Senate on May 12, 2023, but it is dated May 15, 2023,” he said.
“The law says where a witness fails to convince this committee on why he failed to appear will be surcharged not from the county coffers but from his accounts."
Section 18 of the Parliamentary Powers and Privileges Act states that ‘Parliament or its committees may invite or summon any person to appear before it for the purpose of giving evidence or providing any information, paper, book, record or document in the possession or under the control of that person.
It further states that Parliament and its committees shall have the same powers as the High Court as specified under Article 125 of the Constitution.
Governor Kihika who is supposed to appear before the committee on Tuesday morning also wrote to the committee excusing herself for not appearing before the committee.
Kihika had written a letter to the committee saying that she was out of the country and was not able to attend.
“This is the third time Governor Kihika is failing to appear before this committee with the same excuse of being out of the country and requesting another date. We are now issuing a summon for her to appear before the committee on a date the Clerk will communicate,” Osotsi said.
Osotsi maintained that it has become a habit of former Senators turned Governors to treat the work of oversight committees with contempt, adding that his committee will not hesitate to invoke payment of fines as provided in the Parliamentary Powers and Privileges Act.