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Parliamentary Committee risks closure for bungled budget estimates

29 May 2015, 09:20 Samuel Kisika

Nairobi – MPs have accused the National Assembly Budget and Appropriations committee of mishandling National Government’s budgetary estimates and threaten to disband it.

The MPs particularly accused the committee’s chair, Mutava Musyimi (Mbeere North) of ignoring Parliament’s proposals in the budget making process and pushing for rubberstamping of the Executive’s decisions.

The angered MPs claimed that Musyimi held secret meetings with President Uhuru Kenyatta in pushing for the Executive’s agenda while overlooking the Parliament’s key mandate in the budget making process.

The House Speaker Justin Muturi had to intervene in calming the MPs ire against Musyimi by adjourning the debate and adoption of the KES 776.9 billion National Government budget estimates until Wednesday next week in another special sitting following a request from Leader of Majority Aden Duale.

Muturi directed the Budget and Appropriations committee to hold a joint meeting with all parliamentary departmental committee chairs, their deputies, the Treasury and his technical in ensuring parliament is fully involved in the budget making process of the 2015/16 financial year.

Duale warned the Budget committee against singly making decisions on budget estimates without agreeing with other departmental committees’ recommendations.

He maintained that there is no way Musyimi’s committee can propose any reductions and re-allocations of funds in government’s ministries without providing sufficient grounds for doing that.

“The process is well stipulated in the standing orders and Constitution, serious stakeholders must be involved. Within the National Assembly, the budget committee must agree with what the respective committees have presented, if we don’t do that then the whole essence of the committees will be lost,” warned Duale.

Justice and legal Affairs committee chairman, Samuel Chepkonga (Ainabkoi MP) concurred with Duale and said, “Some people have become rogue. We spent a lot of time as a committee, interrogating the estimates but without courtesy, you are rejecting them.”

“It’s very unfair considering that we abandoned our constituency obligations to come all the way to deal with the matter,” he added.

However, Musyimi defended himself and insisted that his committee was performing its duties in line with the Constitution and the House Standing Orders.

“The Budget committee acts as gate keeper, if it did not act as a gate keeper there would be chaos,” said Musyimi.

He also accused the MPs of being dishonest despite them knowing the hurdles the his committee encounters in compile its report.

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