By Martin Mutua
Tempers flared during a meeting of House Business Committee (HBC) after Transport minister Amos Kimunya opposed the allocation of time to debate a report implicating him in the loss of billions of shillings.
Interestingly, Kimunya who is also the Deputy Leader of Government Business was the one chairing the meeting in the absence of the Leader of Government Business Vice-President Kalonzo Musyoka.
And when the matter came up, members demanded he vacates the seat to allow someone else preside over the meeting but he declined and put up a spirited fight.
“ Kimunya flatly refused to vacate the seat when the matter came up but instead engaged members in a heated exchange arguing he had the right to chair the meeting,” said a source that attended the meeting on Tuesday evening.
Last week, the powerful Public Accounts Committee tabled a damning report that implicated Kimunya in the multi-billion shillings money-printing probe.
Also tied to him on the hip in this latest Sh1.8 billion De La Rue money printing payment query, just like was the case with the controversial sale of Grand Regency Hotel to the Libyan government, is Central Bank Governor Njuguna Ndung’u.
The report also wants the minister who was on the dock in Parliament recently over highly tribalised appointments at the Kenya Ports Authority board surcharged.
Yesterday, sources told The Standard that Kimunya opposed discussion of the report this week in Parliament and requested that it be shelved until after a fortnight.
The National Assembly Clerk Patrick Gichohi, who is the secretary of the committee, had advised the meeting that the report needed to be dispensed off as quickly as possible.
The sources said Gichohi told the group that according to parliamentary practice and tradition such a report should not to be delayed once tabled.
The sources further said Ikolomani MP Boni Khalwale, who is also the PAC chairman that investigated the matter, proposed that the report be debated on Thursday.
However, Kimunya is said to have vehemently opposed the proposal, saying he required more time to consult other people in government.