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Ultimatum for Ruto to meet House team

By | July 14th 2009

By Peter Opiyo

The Ministry of Agriculture stands to lose its Sh11 billion budgetary allocation unless Minister William Ruto appears before a parliamentary committee Wednesday to explain how the money would be used.

Ruto failed to appear before the Parliamentary Committee on Agriculture, Livestock and Co-operatives, in the group’s two sessions on Monday, to outline how the money would be spent.

Consequently the committee under the Chairmanship of Naivasha MP John Mututho was forced to adjourn its sessions. The Standing Orders do not allow such meetings to proceed without a minister’s presence.

And the rules also require that relevant departmental committees discuss the financial estimates of corresponding ministries within 21 days after the presentation of the national Budget.

last chance

The 21 days lapse next Tuesday and the committee gave Ruto a last chance to appear tomorrow or risk his ministry lose out.

"The 21 days expire next Tuesday and it means there would be no money for the ministry if the minister does not turn up. I want to tell the minister that budget matters must be taken very seriously," said Mr Mututho.

The committee expressed displeasure at the turn of events given that Agriculture contributes to about 80 per cent of the country’s economy.

Mututho said the committee had given the minister another chance to show up on Monday.

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