Blame game in Parliament over Kenya's Anti-Doping Bill

Wednesday March 9 2016

Cherangany Constituency MP Wesley Korir (centre), former World Marathon record-holder Wilson Kipsang (left) and other athletes during a past event. PHOTO | FILE |

Cherangany Constituency MP Wesley Korir (centre), former World Marathon record-holder Wilson Kipsang (left) and other athletes during a past event. PHOTO | FILE |  NATION MEDIA GROUP

By JOHN NGIRACHU
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By JEREMIAH KIPLANG'AT
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The shambolic manner in which MPs charged with the preparation of the crucial anti-doping law are handling the job was exposed in the National Assembly Wednesday afternoon as they traded accusations across the floor.

In the Senate, the Labour and Social Welfare Committee said it would meet Sports Cabinet Secretary Hassan Wario within the next seven days after the statement he had sent was criticised.

“I will make sure we meet the CS over the next seven days. Members have raised critical issues that must be addressed,” said committee chairman Stewart Madzayo. The statement Mr Madzayo read was dated December 1, 2015 and has long been overtaken by events. It referred to the Executive Order by President Uhuru Kenyatta for the establishment of the Anti-Doping Agency, which has since been rejected by the World Anti-Doping Agency.

National Assembly Labour and Social Welfare Committee vice-chairman Tiya Galgallo kicked off the blame game over the crucial Bill, saying Cherangany MP Wesley Korir did not show up for meetings to discuss the proposed law.

“We held meetings in March at the Media Centre and after 50 minutes, the sponsor of the Bill appeared. Yesterday, we had a meeting but the sponsor of the Bill never showed up despite waiting for him,” said Ms Galgallo. She said Mr Korir was wrong when he told the House on Tuesday that the 29-member committee had failed to get the quorum of nine MPs at the three meetings he had attended.

But Mr Korir, a former Boston Marathon champion, denied this and suggested his colleagues were only interested in getting paid their sitting allowances for such meetings without doing any work. “It is absurd for the vice chairperson to say that I have not appeared before the committee. People come, sign and go and then I am told I did not appear. She has misled this House,” he protested.

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National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi then intervened, saying the suggestion by Mr Korir was that members of the committee have been swindling taxpayers if all they have been doing is showing up to sign the attendance sheets. The committee is expected to meet at 11am Thursday morning, as directed by Mr Muturi last Tuesday, to start its scrutiny of the Bill Mr Korir says he has prepared.

Kenya has to comply with World Anti-Doping Agency rules by April 5.