Senators to close business in protest over Sh1 billion oversight fund
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.