Uhuru Broke the Law in Transport Deal - Senate

  • President Uhuru Kenyatta during a virtual meeting of the African Union Bureau on August 20, 2020.
    President Uhuru Kenyatta during a virtual meeting of the African Union Bureau on August 20, 2020.
  • The Senate on Wednesday, September 16, accused President Uhuru Kenyatta and Attorney General Githu Muigai of bypassing the law following the establishment of the Kenya Transport Logistic Network.

    "The President is not getting proper legal advice. How do you take a giant parastatal like the Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) and put it under Industrial and Commercial Development Corporation (ICDC), a dying parastatal?" Bungoma Senator Moses Wetangula questioned.

    Kilifi Senator Stewart Madzayo went on to argue that the President broke the law by failing to consult residents before absorbing the Kenya Ports Authority (KPA).

    "The President's first mistake was his decision to bypass consultations. He continues to hurt the coastal people economically," Madzayo stated.

    proceedings underway at the Senate during a past session
    Proceedings underway at the Senate during a past session.

    His sentiments were echoed by his Kajiado counterpart Ledama ole Kina who likened the Executive order to dictatorship.

    Ledama further questioned the role of the AG, arguing that the move made no legal sense.

    "We talk about having a democracy in this country but this is now a pure dictatorship," he argued.

    On the same day, Treasury CS Ukur Yatani was grilled by the Parliamentary Committee on Finance and Planning over the same issue.

    The legislators questioned the motive behind the move and highlighted various graft cases currently under investigation touching on the parastatals.

    "The reason as to why we did not wait for the legal framework is that number 1, this agreement is already provided for," Yatani explained. 

    However, Roysambu MP, raised concerns over the involvement of ICDC in legal tussles of its own, "are you trying to whitewash the issues surrounding ICDC?" he posed.

    In his defence, CS Yatani argued that KTLN was not a forced marriage arranged to cover up ongoing investigations, adding that each agency would bear its own cross under the new umbrella.

    On Aug 9, President Uhuru issued an executive order establishing the KTLN.

    The body was tasked with managing, coordinating, and integrating operations of public ports, railway, and pipeline services.

    The network comprises Kenya Ports Authority, Kenya Railway Corporation (KRC), and Kenya Pipeline Company Limited (KPC) under the coordination of the ICDC.

    In a statement, Kenyatta added that the four state agencies have already been transferred to the National Treasury. The agencies are expected to enter into a joint operations agreement within 30 days from the date of issuance of the executive order.

    The directive saw the suspension of the proposed merger of the ICDC into the Kenya Development bank.

    Watch the Senate debate below: