The Senate ad-hoc committee on Covid-19 pandemic has summoned Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i over failure to appear before the senators four times.
The committee chaired by Nairobi Senator Johnson Sakaja had summoned the CS and his Health counterpart Mutahi Kagwe over police brutality witnessed across the country as the authorities implement the dusk-to-dawn curfew.
Many Kenyans who flout the rules are arrested and placed under a mandatory 14-day quarantine a move that has elicited an angry reaction from a section of Kenyans.
The two CSs were summoned after a committee of the National Assembly declared two sets of rules generated by the two ministries punitive. The committee argued that the rules expose healthy people to COVID-19 in quarantine facilities more than checking its spread as contemplated.
Yesterday, CS Kagwe appeared before the committee but Matiang’i was a no show.
This is not the first time Matiang’i is skipping Senate summons. The CS angered senators in February last year after he failed to appear before the Senate security committee that was probing the National Integrated Identity Management System (NIIMS).
Matiang’i and his ICT colleague Joe Mucheru had been summoned to clarify issues on the rollout of NIIMS.
The angry senators recommended suspension of the project until the CSs appear before them. But the exercise went on uninterrupted.
In June 2018, Matiang’i also failed to appear before a joint parliamentary committee probing the importation of contraband sugar worth billions of shillings.
The minister had been invited to appear before the committee to shed more light into the claims he made that sugar imported into the country contained poisonous elements including mercury, copper and lead.
But Matiang’i, through Interior Principal Secretary Karanja Kibicho, wrote to the committee requesting that the meeting be postponed to a later date.
Kibicho said his boss was officiating a three-day summit of the East African Community (EAC) Head of States in Nairobi.
“We wish to respectfully point out that the Ministry of Interior and Coordination of National Government is the host of the summit,” reads the letter signed by Kibicho.