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Citizen Weekly

Tuesday, 17 March 2015

muturi blocking report on Ruto Jet hire

SPEAKER of the National Assembly Justin Muturi and Majority Leader Aden Duale are on the spot for allegedly delaying debate on the ‘Hustler Jet’ report indicting senior State officials.
A faction of Cord leaders claim that Muturi and Duale, who lead the committee that probed the jet affair, are using their positions to thwart debate on the report that recommended investigations of top State officers including the Deputy President's Chief of Staff Marianne Kitany.
Ruto and a large delegation flew in a private rental jet to the West and Central African countries of Nigeria, Congo, Gabon and Ghana in May 2013, followed by claims that the trip cost taxpayers Sh100 million.
Not long afterwards, Ruto self-deprecatingly referred to himself on a TV interview as “a hustler”, saying he once sold roast maize and chickens by a roadside for a living.
Social media promptly called the Sh100 million aircraft the ‘Hustler Jet’.
The behind-the-scenes intrigues were disclosed in a hard-hitting, confidential letter to Muturi by Budalang’i MP Ababu Namwamba last week.
Namwamba claimed that Duale has vowed that the report will never be debated "because it touches on my boss" – Deputy President William Ruto.
“I have complained countless times - on the floor of the House, to the Hon Speaker, to Hon Duale and to the House Business Committee – to no avail. What kind of brinkmanship and impunity is this?” a bitter Namwamba said.
Namwamba tabled the report on April 24 last year. However, it has not been debated almost one year later.
“What forces, exactly, control the operations of the National Assembly? Who is this that can so casually and cynically decide to trash House rules and traditions with such abandon?” the Budalang’i lawmaker fumed.
Leader of Minority Francis Nyenze, who also sits in the 27-member House Business Committee, maintained that Jubilee continues to use their ‘tyranny of numbers’ to bulldoze their agenda even within the team.
“We have tried to ballot this report, plus the others, without success. It’s very frustrating because we are outnumbered within the House Business Committee,” noted the Kitui West MP.
Nyenze said that the parliamentary calendar and House business are agreed on within the committee, either through consensus or voting.
In its recommendations, the Parliamentary Accounts Committee criticised President Uhuru Kenyatta for issuing verbal instructions to the Deputy President, directing him to travel to the four countries at short notice, barely a month after they won the 2013 Presidential election.
But Muturi who is the Chairman of the HBC, maintained that Cord MPs should blame their House leadership for the failure to push for the prioritisation of the report.
"As the Speaker, I chair the House Business Committee, but I have no business prioritising any agenda because I have no business other than presiding over the House," Muturi said.
The Speaker insisted that he is a neutral arbitrator in the HBC and only moderates debate on what is brought by the two sides of the political divide.
"I can tell you that even if you look at the minutes of the Committee, the said reports have never been discussed. So anyone claiming that their business has never been prioritised must come out and tell us when they requested for it and we did not do it," Muturi said.
Muturi also said that Namwamba was trying to drag his name in the mud by making "uninformed claims on national TV”.