Sen­a­tors to close busi­ness in protest over Sh1 bil­lion over­sight fund

The Star (Kenya) - - Politics Parliament -

Sen­a­tors yes­ter­day said they will sus­pend House busi­ness from next week to protest the move by their coun­ter­parts to de­cline to ap­prove their pro­posed Sh1 bil­lion over­sight fund.

The sen­a­tors, dur­ing the af­ter­noon sit­tings, said they will also not pass any Bill from the Na­tional As­sem­bly or the Ex­ec­u­tive un­til they are given the money.

Last week, MPs voted against the reg­u­la­tions de­vel­oped to man­age how the money al­lo­cated to the Se­nate is used.

Ma­jor­ity leader Kithure Kindiki (pic­tured) said he will ask Speaker Ek­wee Ethuro to con­vene a ka­mukunji on Tues­day to dis­cuss the is­sue, threat­en­ing to re­vive supremacy wars be­tween the two Houses.

“This is a crim­i­nal act. It is sub­ver­sion of the law and bor­ders on ju­ve­nile delin­quency,” Kindiki said.

He told the House the Se­nate can­not “con­tinue to be taken as trash, to be used when it is con­ve­nient”.

Sen­a­tors who spoke, the ma­jor­ity of them cit­ing the re­cently re­leased au­dit re­ports, said there is mas­sive cor­rup­tion in the coun­ties and the fund would help them play ef­fec­tive over­sight.

Sen­a­tors Has­san Omar (Mom­basa), Aaron Cheruyiot (Keri­cho), Isaac Melly (Uasin Gishu), Stephen Sang’ (Nandi), Henry Ndiema (Trans Nzoia), Moses We­tang’ula (Bun­goma) and Mu­tula Kilonzo Jnr (Makueni) blasted their coun­ter­parts in the “lower House” ac­cus­ing them of serv­ing the Ex­ec­u­tive.

“They not only poured scorn on the reg­u­la­tions but also rub­bished and in­sulted the Se­nate. It is ev­i­dent that there is a grand con­spir­acy to frus­trate this House,” We­tang’ula said.

The feud can be likened to one in Oc­to­ber, where the Se­nate was against MPs from 14 marginalised coun­ties over­see­ing the multi­bil­lion-shilling Equal­i­sa­tion Fund.

Sen­a­tors promised to op­pose an amend­ment law in the Con­sti­tu­tion by MPs. They were against al­low­ing the Sh6 bil­lion Equal­i­sa­tion Fund chan­neled di­rectly to con­stituen­cies in marginalised ar­eas.

Sen­a­tors wanted the Equal­i­sa­tion Fund un­der the na­tional gov­ern­ment dis­bursed ei­ther di­rectly or in­di­rectly through con­di­tional grants to coun­ties in marginalised com­mu­ni­ties.

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