Azimio Senators walk out of Moses Kuria's grilling session over censure motion

Trade Cabinet Secretary Moses Kuria before the Senate to answer questions from members on Wednesday, June 21, 2022. [Elvis Ogina, Standard]

Azimio Senators walked out of the Senate plenary where Trade Cabinet Secretary Moses Kuria was appearing to respond to questions from members on Wednesday, June 21. 

The Senators cited a censure motion against the minister filed by Senator Edwin Sifuna.

The censure motion was filed on June 21 by Nairobi Senator Edwin Sifuna citing Kuria's unwarranted attacks against the media.

In the motion, Sifuna is seeking a declaration that Kuria is unfit to hold office based on his remarks denying advertising to sections of the media, which he derided in a series of unsavory tweets.

However, Senate Speaker Amason Kingi ruled that the Trade CS could appear, as the censure motion was not officially tabled.

"We are anticipating debate contrary to Standing Order 99, therefore I allow the Cabinet Secretary to proceed with answering the questions," ruled Kingi.

The senators wanted Kuria grilled over his recent attacks on media and media freedom and the edible oils scandal.

Kitui Senator Enoch Wambua said the Trade CS should not be given room to rid himself of the accusations and unprintables against the media.

 “Moses Kuria is a personal friend of mine but when it comes to matters of Public Service, friendships take a back seat…so friendship aside, Kuria and I can have a cup of tea after this but, we should not allow him, a leader and a CS, to use the floor of this House to sanitize himself over accusations of abuse and insults directed at media houses,” said Wambua.

 Kuria is appearing before the Senate today to clarify the state, type, and quantity of goods being imported by corporations and individuals prequalified by the Kenya National Trading Corporation (KNTC).

The question was brought forth by Marsabit Senator Mohamed Said Chute.

Chute also sought clarification from the Cabinet Secretary regarding the procedure used by KNTC to identify and prequalify companies that import the goods.

He is also seeking information on how the companies were awarded businesses, which companies are currently importing goods, and the type and packaging of these commodities during FY 2021/2022/2023.

 The Senator further wants Kuria to disclose the financial state of KNTC and also indicate how much has been paid to the respective suppliers and how much is outstanding.