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Lusaka’s tough test in probe on bribery claims

By Roselyne Obala | Aug 26th 2018 | 2 min read
Senate Assembly Speaker Kenneth Lusaka during the State of the Nation address at Parliament. [Boniface Okendo,Standard]

Senate Speaker Kenneth Lusaka is walking a tight rope as he seeks to clear the House over bribery claims touching on members of a committee.

Dr Lusaka, who chairs the Powers and Privileges Committee, has called a sitting on Tuesday to discuss the matter.

The Senate Public Accounts and Investments Committee (PAIC) chaired by Homa Bay Senator Moses Kajwang is caught up in the bribery claims from the man at the centre of the multi-million shilling Ruaraka land scandal.

Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) boss George Kinoti is investigating four members of the committee following a complaint lodged by Francis Mburu, director Afrison and Hue land, that they tried to solicit Sh100 million to influence the outcome of the report.

Members of the committee are Senators Kimani Wamatangi (Kiambu), Millicent Omanga (Nominated), Irungu Kangata (Murang’a), Rose Nyamunga (Nominated), Sylvia Kasanga (Nominated) and Falhada Iman (Nominated).

“We still treat the matter as mere allegations. The committee will probe the same in a bid to establish the truth,” said Lusaka.

Senate Minority Whip Senator Mutula Kilonzo Jr (Makueni) when contacted said the Standing Orders are very clear, the members will have to be excused from the deliberation once the Speaker moves the motion.

Will have to step out

“The members cannot take part in the committee sittings. The members of the committee have participated in what would appear to be bribery allegations. The speaker will be in a lot of trouble if they sit in the probe,” warned Kilonzo Jr.

He added: “Two members are subject of discussion and will have to step out. The law of meetings and any law concerning running of meetings would require that they step out. They cannot participate in the deliberations. The Speaker must be told in the first instance of the meeting that they should step out.”

During the meeting, the committee will agree on how to address the matter that has elicited mixed reactions over the authenticity of the audio recording of senators by Mburu that has been submitted to the DCI.

Kinoti confirmed that Mburu has already recorded a statement and a file has been opened and therefore he will proceed to summon the affected senators to record statements.

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