Mutua in trouble for telling senators they were wasting time grilling him
13 November 2015, 08:15
Nairobi – Machakos Governor, Alfred Mutua found himself in hot soup after telling a Senate committee that it was wasting time grilling him on a petition by a Member of the Machakos County Assembly (MCA), Festus Ndeto that he had sidelined his ward in initiating development projects.
Mutua, who appeared before the Senate Finance committee chaired by Senator Anyang Nyong’o (Kisumu) denied Ndeto’s claims that Kola ward was discriminated in development saying that the MCA’s petition was malicious, baseless and politically motivated.
“I am reading malice in all this. He could have taken this matter to the County assembly before it is escalated to the Senate. By the time I finish, you will feel that your time has been wasted. I can say that without any fear of contradiction,” said Mutua.
Mutua’s sentiments angered the senators who reminded him that the Constitutions allows anyone to petition the Senate which then has powers to invite or summon any public officer to respond to issues raised.
“Our time is not wasted. We know our mandate. What appears as a nuisance is the very ingredient of a democratic government. Just show us the evidence to prove the petitioner wrong,” said Nyong’o.
Makueni Senator, Mutula Kilonzo Jnr faulted Mutua for concluding that the committee was wasting its time yet the petition was approved by the Senate Speaker, Ekwee Ethuro who then committed it to the Finance committee.
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“I discourage you in thinking we are wasting time. Some County Assemblies have become appendages of the Executive. They are not doing oversight and that is why many petitions end up in the Senate,” said Kilonzo Jnr.
The defiant Mutua hit back at the senators saying that although anyone has a constitutional right to petition Parliament, the Senate should raise the threshold required in approving a petition presented to it for inquiry.
“You are like a court of appeal. At your level, you need to meet a certain threshold. I was just feeling sorry for you,” said Mutua, who then invited the senators to his County to see how he has equally developed it.
He claimed that many governors have been reluctant to appear before Senate committees because they feel that senators were derailing development at the counties and might not get a fair hearing.
“Many governors feel as if they are under attack and the level of trust towards senators is not as high as it should be. They feel impeachment has been sponsored by senators,” he said.
However, Mutua maintained that he was serving wards in Machakos equally and that the petitioner was politically sponsored by a top County leader he declined to mention to frustrate his development record.
Ndeto accused Mutua of failing to distribute 10 water tanks to primary schools in his wards, failure to construct and upgrade roads, install culverts, drifts and gabions and failure to implement the construction of a market shade at Muumandu market in Kola ward despite giving the tender to a contractor after allocating it KES 5 million.
“This is politically motivated to get political mileage by one of your colleagues who is a friend to the petitioner,” Mutua said.
Other senators present included Wilfred Machage (Migori), Paul Njoroge (Nominated) and Zipporah Kittony (Nominated).
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