Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Charity Ngilu land report splits House

PHOTO | JENNIFER MUIRURI Lands Cabinet Secretary Charity Ngilu with senators Dan Mwazo (centre) and Chris Obure when she appeared before members of the Senate’s Agricultural committee on November 5, 2013.

PHOTO | JENNIFER MUIRURI Lands Cabinet Secretary Charity Ngilu with senators Dan Mwazo (centre) and Chris Obure when she appeared before members of the Senate’s Agricultural committee on November 5, 2013.  NATION MEDIA GROUP

By JOHN NGIRACHU
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Debate on a report critical of the conduct of Lands Cabinet Secretary Charity Ngilu began on Tuesday evening as an MP prepared an amendment seeking to have her “take full responsibility.”

Ugunja’s Opiyo Wandayi (ODM) says in his amendment that Mrs Ngilu should take full responsibility for the “unconstitutional, illegal and irregular acts of creating offices and making arbitrary appointments, promotions and transfers in the ministry.”

“Further, Hon Ngilu should be held to account for any undesired consequences such as, but not limited to, financial loss that may arise from the aforementioned acts of commission on her part,” he states in the amendment.

The joint committees on Delegated Legislation and Land have declared that Mrs Ngilu’s appointment of Mr Peter Kahuho as the Director General of Lands was unconstitutional. The appointment has since been revoked. (READ: Charity Ngilu revokes illegal Lands appointment)

He said it was confirmed that Mrs Ngilu had overstepped her mandate by creating positions and appointing those to fill them.

Mr William Cheptumo (Baringo North, URP) said the minister did that based on a draft proposal despite the Public Service Commission being legally in charge of appointing people to positions it created in the civil service. (READ: Jubilee colleagues betrayed me, cries Mrs Ngilu)

OFFICERS BE REINSTATED

The committee recommended that the officers who had been transferred or removed from office be reinstated and the irregular appointments or promotions reversed.

It had asked Mrs Ngilu to, as a matter of urgency, submit to the National Assembly the regulations needed to put into further effect the Lands Act.

Mr Wandayi’s amendment could set up a serious war of words with MPs who support the Cabinet Secretary and those who had lobbied hard since the report was presented in the House on Thursday.

This was apparent in the numbers present in the evening as debate started on a dramatic note with Speaker Justin Muturi rejecting allegations designed to interfere with it. Mr Muturi told off MP Kisoi Munyao (Mbooni, Wiper), who was at the head of a plan to have Mr Joseph Gitari, the vice-chairman of the Committee on Delegated Legislation, reprimanded.

Mr Munyao claimed that Mr Gitari was a director of three companies and had taken money from the Lamu Port and South Sudan Ethiopia Transport (Lapsset) Corridor project. He could not back his claims and was forced to withdraw and apologise to Mr Gitari.

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