Senators in War of Words Over List Approved For US Trip

  • proceedings underway at the Senate during a past session
    Proceedings underway at the Senate during a past session.
  • Senators on Thursday, September 16, engaged in a war of words over a list approved by Speaker Ken Lusaka regarding a trip to the United States of America (USA) by the National Security and Defense Committee. 

    Meru Senator Mithika Linturi, while addressing the House, put to task Lusaka over why he approved the same list of members of the committee without consultations. 

    He argued that the committee lacked effective leadership since the departure of the late Garissa Senator Mohamed Yusuf Haji. 

    A photo of Meru Senator Mithika Linturi gesturing during a past press address at Parliament Buildings.
    Meru Senator Mithika Linturi gestures during a press address at Parliament Buildings in 2018

    "Mr. Speaker, before you and the clerk, the National Security has a trip to the US, last time you approved the travel of the members of the committee to the US. 

    "Today you have approved another one of the same members, no consultations. This committee has no leadership and has been without a chairman since the departure of Haji," Linturi stated.

    He added that the Senate was supposed to meet the leadership of the security teams on Wednesday, September 15, and Thursday, September 16, but the leadership failed to show up. 

    "I'm a member of the National Security and Defense Committee, Mr. Speaker, most of the committees in Parliament are impotent. There is nothing that we are doing in these committees. 

    His sentiments were echoed by his Kericho counterpart Aaron Cheruiyot who urged Lusaka to cancel the US-based trip. 

    "These are the matters that needed to be brought to your attention. A committee is just globe-trotting thinking about America while they cannot find time to solve issues here in Laikipia. 

    "Mr. Speaker as a matter of concern, you should cancel that trip to the US. Tell them to go to Laikipia instead and in any case, Texas looks like Laikipia, if they want to go and learn there," Cheruiyot ranted.  

    Their statements were countered by the Deputy Majority leader of the Senate Fatuma Dulo who pointed out that the list went through the required process.

    "Mr. Speaker is Senator Cheruiyot in order to state that Fatuma Dulo and (Kiambu Senator) Wamatangi are the ones micromanaging the list of those travelling? This list was developed by the leadership, went to the committee of the House, was tabled before this House, and approved. Why is he calling names here?" Dulo posed.

    The intrigues regarding the Senate proceedings have been rampant as the senators engage on different matters regarding the country.

    Senate Minority Leader James Orengo urged his colleagues to stop squabbling on the travel freebies and instead work towards holding government institutions accountable. 

    "We should stop discussing about ourselves and focus on what is happening in Laikipia. If the Senate cannot even get its own allowances right, what can one Senator do to stop what is happening in Laikipia? Let us hold the government institutions accountable and ensure they uphold the constitution," Orengo stated. 

    Senate Speaker Ken Lusaka (front) leads senators in a meeting on Tuesday, March 31, 2020
    Senate Speaker Ken Lusaka (front) leads senators in a meeting on Tuesday, March 31, 2020