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Angry MPs vow to punish CS Charity Ngilu for skipping meeting

By Alphonce Shiundu | Nov 12th 2014 | 2 min read

Lands Cabinet Secretary Charity Ngilu fell victim to a scheduling mix-up in the National Assembly when MPs of one committee threatened to censure her for skipping their meeting.

Ms Ngilu had been booked to appear before the Lands committee to reveal the owners of the controversial 134 acres in Karen, Nairobi. At the same time, she was supposed to sit with the Constitutional Implementation Oversight Committee (CIOC) to discuss land regulations.

The Cabinet Secretary opted to meet CIOC, together with the National Land Commission, and the Commission for the Implementation of the Constitution to explain why the land regulations were delayed.

Ngilu had informed CIOC chairman Njoroge Baiya that she had another meeting with the Lands committee, but Mr Baiya said he had spoken to the chairman of the committee and they had agreed she should appears before CIOC.

But when they were told that Ngilu appeared before another committee, the Lands team said she ought to have ignored the other committee and met them.

"We are not aware of that (her appearance before CIOC) and we don't want to know," said Moses ole Sakuda (Kajiado West).

land barons

Twenty MPs out of the 29 members of the Lands committee who had met and waited for Ngilu said they had not been told she had another parliamentary appointment. They said they would censure her for skipping the meeting of "the primary committee which oversees the operations of her ministry".

They told journalists at Parliament buildings they were very angry with Ngilu for opting to meet CIOC when she was the one who had asked for a week to reveal the names of the land barons behind the Karen controversy.

They gave her two days to appear before them. If she failed to show up tomorrow morning (Thursday), the MPs said, they would begin the process of kicking her out of office.

"If you continue that way – giving a committee wrong documentation - then you should know that you can't fool this committee," said Mr Sakuda.

"We are in the process of looking into ways of disciplining her. Even if you are a Cabinet Secretary, you cannot disrespect a committee of the National Assembly like that. This committee cannot be taken for a ride," said Sakuda, the committee's vice chairman.

During the meeting with CIOC, Ngilu said she was working on amendments to the laws to set boundaries on how the ministry and the commission would work.

"Please give us time," said Ngilu, who sat with National Land Commission vice chair Abigael Mbagaya, just a day after the commission and the ministry agreed to end their wrangles.

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