A senate committee has asked Inspector General of Police Hillary Mutyambai to arrest and present before it Machakos Governor Alfred Mutua for disobeying summons of the House.
The County Public Accounts and Investments Committee on Monday issued an arrest warrant for Dr Mutua after he failed to appear before it for the third time to respond to county financial accounts for three financial years.
The committee wants IG Mutyambai to effect the arrest and present the governor before the committee in the next seven days.
The Parliamentary Powers and Privileges Act grants the committee of both Houses of Parliament the power to order the arrest of any witness, who severally snubs invites and summons.
“Where a summoned witness does not appear, or appears but fails to satisfy the relevant House of Parliament or committee, the relevant House or committee may order the arrest of a person who fails to honour a summons,” the Act states.
The law further gives the committee the power to impose fines, ranging from Sh200,000 to Sh3 million.
The committee had issued summons against the governor on September 17 during its sitting in Kitui County.
However, in letter presented before the committee from the County Law Office and signed by Mr James Kathili, the committee is informed that Mr Mutua was out of the country by the time he was summoned.
“It is practically impossible for him to appear,” Mr Kathili says in the letter dated September 26. The queries arise from the Auditor General’s report for the 2015/16, 2016/17 and 2017/18 financial years.
Mutua was scheduled to appear before the committee on Monday but he was a no-show. Committee Chairman Moses Kajwang’ said his team had made the decision after the governor failed to honour the summons.
“This committee, therefore, directs that Governor Alfred Mutua be arrested having failed to honour the summons of the Senate,” Mr Kajwang’ ruled.
The Clerk of the Senate will have to write to Mr Mutyambai to ensure that order is executed.
In a quick rejoinder, the governor termed the order as ridiculous and maintained that he was ready to appear before the committee.
“The governor was ready to appear as scheduled at Machakos County Assembly but the Clerk of the committee called the county assembly and said the sitting had been cancelled,” Mr Mutua said in a statement by his Press Secretary, Mutinda Mwanzia.
Late Monday, his deputy insisted that the governor was ready to meet the committee.
The county boss has also instructed his lawyers to swiftly move to court and have an arrest warrant issued against him by the Senate public accounts and investment committee quashed.
This is the second time the committee has issued warrants for the arrest of the governor. The first was in 2017 when under the chairmanship of Prof Anyang’ Nyongo’ it ordered the then police chief Joseph Boinett to arrest Kakamega Governor Wycliffe Oparanya. The order was however, not effected.
The committee has also fined governors Mike Sonko (Nairobi) and Salim Mvurya (Kwale) for snubbing the summons.