How Senate committee “spent donkey hours” on the Ruaraka land report only for it to be frustrated

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Nyali legislator Mohamed Ali once ran a feature dubbed Tumbo Gunia exposing legislators for their selfish interests, and indeed they have proved the same! Has bribery taken the course in both legislative houses? Well, a senate committee has admitted it failed Kenyans in the manner in which it managed the Sh1.5 billion Ruaraka land scandal.

The Public Accounts and Investments Committee members blamed themselves for the defeat the report suffered when it was tabled in the plenary. The report implicated Interior CS Fred Matiang’i and Education Principal Secretary Belio Kipsang’.

However, some members staged a quorum hitch by staying away from the House when the matter was brought to a vote amid allegations of bribery.

Senators Kimani Wamatangi and Moses Kajwang of the Senate Public Accounts and Investments Committee during investigation of the Sh3.3 billion disputed land deal in Ruaraka where  Ruaraka Secondary and Drive in Primary schools sit. May 14, 2018. Photo/Jack Owuor

On Tuesday the legislators reignited the debate promising to do more in oversight of funds allocated to the 47 devolved units. The senators retained Homa Bay Senator Moses Kajwang’ and his Meru counterpart Mithika Linturi as CPAIC chairman and vice chairman respectively.

Senator Fatuma Dullo, who sparked the bribery debate, asked members of the committee to do things differently in the current session.

“We are yet to cover past audits for financial year 2014–2016. We must find a way of covering more ground with a focus on current audit questions,” Dullo said.

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She was backed by her Mombasa counterpart Mohamed Faki who decried that the committee “spent donkey hours” on the Ruaraka land report only for the same to be frustrated.

Narok’s Ledama ole Kina said the report was an embarrassment to the House and further implored on members to faithfully attend committee sessions. “Let us show that we care.”

CPAIC now says it will change its strategy of summoning governors in favour of visiting the counties to inspect projects and collect facts that will guide any probe that may arise.

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