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Daily Nation : February 2nd 2014
20 | Sunday Review NO POWERS | Commission of inquiry instituted to investigate operations of shilingi kwa shilingi investment scheme Murang’a county leaders fall out over sacco probe Lawyers say the law mandates only the president to form commissions of inquiry BY OUMA WANZALA @Iwanzala firstname.lastname@example.org to form a commission of inquiry to investigate the operations of Murang’a Investment Co-operative Society. County Assembly Speaker A Nduati Kariuki has constituted a commission of inquiry to investigate activities of the sacco known as shilingi kwa shilingi, which is Governor Mwangi wa Iria’s flashship project. Critics say the speaker does not have authority to institute the inquiry. Mr Kariuki has already constituted the 14 member team to debate is raging whether Murang’a County Assembly has the legal mandate look into the legality of the the controversial investment scheme and whether it has followed all the relevant laws and procedures from relevant government institutions before its formation. Nairobi lawyer Antony Oluoch said the formation of a commission of inquiry is guided by an Act of parliament and no one can just wake up and form one except the President. “What that county is doing is an illegality and unconstitutional and should seek the court’s interpretation of the issue,” said Mr Oluoch. He said that the assembly can only constitute a committee to probe the issue and seek expert opinion and views on the matter at hand adding that the involvement of members who are not members of county assembly is also an illegality. “If the National Assembly which is senior cannot constitute a commission of inquiry, therefore a county assembly has no such powers,” he noted. Probe committe headed by former Kinangop MP David Ngugi, consists 11 members of THE LAW Commissions of Inquiry Act The Commissions of Inquiry Act says the appointment of commissioners to inquire into and report on matters of a public nature is preserved for the president. It further states that the president, whenever he considers it advisable so to do, may appoint a commissioner or commissioners and authorise him or them, or any specified quorum of them, to inquire into the conduct of any public officer or the conduct or management of any public body, or into any matter into which an inquiry would, in the opinion of the President, be in the public interest. the assembly and three external members. Other members who are not MCAs are Kimani Njuguna who is a lawyer and secretary to the commission and Daniel Marube the chief executive officer of cooperative Alliance of Kenya. The commission is supposed to look into whether the sacco has adequate structures to carry on its functions and whether any county government money has been spent in promotion of the society. The shilingi kwa shilingi project is the brainchild of Governor Wa Iria who has defended the initiative saying it was duly registered warning of litigation against those speaking ill of it. The governor has on occa- sions insisted that he will not tolerate individuals out to kill his dream of empowering the local community. The county speaker Kariuki defended the decision to form the commission, saying, “Form- FILE | NATION Muranga Governor Mwangi wa Iria opening up roads. He started shilingi kwa shilingi scheme to boost investments in the county. ing a commission of inquiry is not barred in law and anything that is not illegal is legal,” said Mr Nduati when reached for comment. He insisted that it’s a commission of inquiry and not an assembly committee saying he got the authority from the members of the assembly who voted him Speaker. SUNDAY NATION February 2, 2014 What that county is doing is an illegality and unconstitutional” Lawyer Antony Oluoch Mr Nduati insisted that law cannot provide for everything noting that Parliament is independent and similarly the county assembly. “What we are interested in, facts and nothing else,” said the Speaker. Shilingi kwa shilingi is targeting 100,000 members who would raise Sh3 billion to start development projects in the county with investment in real estate, agriculture among others. The commission was formed on January 18 after the county assembly passed a resolution allowing the speaker to constitute the team. Several people have already ap- peared before the commission and given their input including the county executive in charge of Marketing and Cooperatives Development Edward Muiruri, his Education, ICT and communication counterpart David Waweru and County Cooperatives director Josephine Mwangi.
February 1st 2014
February 3rd 2014