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Daily Nation : February 19th 2014
16 | National News BY NATION REPORTER National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi has accused the Treasury of deliberately delaying the submission of crucial documents to Parliament so that MPs don’t have enough time to scrutinise them. A visibly angry Mr Muturi said the late de- livery of documents “only makes the National Assembly appear bad” and warned that the Legislature would not tolerate it. The Speaker made the remarks at the beginning of the sitting on Tuesday afternoon, moments after Majority Leader Aden Duale tabled the Medium Term Debt Management Strategy and the Medium Term Budget Policy Statement. The documents were taken to the National Assembly at 5pm last Friday, he said, to comply with the requirements of the Public Finance Management Act, which says they should be taken to the National Assembly by that date. “This is obviously disgusting,” the Speaker said. “The National Treasury had all the time to submit these documents.” “This is deliberate in order not to give the House enough time to comb through the various documents, proposals raised in the Budget Policy Statement as well as the Medium Term Debt Management Strategy paper,” he added. He suggested that the late submission was so that MPs end up confused and with little time to conclude scrutiny of the documents and therefore end up endorsing them without hearing from everybody involved. Scrutiny of submissions from the Executive usually involves committee meetings with interested parties, the Treasury and other ministries before the compilation of a report to the House DAILY NATION Wednesday February 19, 2014 Muturi accuses Treasury of submitting documents late to avoid scrutiny for debate and adoption. Working through their committees, MPs now have greater clout in the preparation the Budget as they can take money from one department or ministry and give it to another. Because they did not have enough time last year to make changes to the Budget, MPs ended up endorsing most of the allocations suggested by the Treasury. At a meeting of the Budget and Appropriations Committee earlier, MPs complained there wasn’t enough time to work on the Supplementary Estimates because of the shortage of time. PROBE| MPs investigate deal Price of Tassia land inflated: ex-NSSF boss Mogere accuses power brokers of influencing decision to buy property BY CAROLINE WAFULA @carwafs firstname.lastname@example.org project as it was not properly valued, former NSSF managing trustee Naftali Mogere said yesterday. Appearing before the Na- P tional Assembly Committee on Labour and Social Welfare, he suggested that some powerful individuals may have deliberately inflated the price of the land for personal gain. “People were buying land under the pretext of building houses…it was too expensive but they were politically connected and the land was not properly evaluated,” he told the committee chaired by Matungu MP David Were at a session held yesterday. Spending spree According to Mr Mogere, who served as Managing Trustee at the National Social Security Fund between 2002 and 2005, NSSF at some point was buying too many parcels of land without plans to develop them, causing alarm. He said it was so serious that the regulator, Retirement Benefits Authority (RBA), out of concern, warned the fund against the “spending spree,” further asking it to liquidate some of its properties. The fund had acquired several other pieces of land in Athi River, Karura and Ngong forests. It also purchased a piece of land along Kenyatta Avenue near the Laico Regency Hotel, formerly Grand Regency. NSSF bought the 350-acre Tassia parcel at Sh2.2 billion between 1992 and 1995. Mr Mogere told the committee investigating the controver- owerful brokers may have inflated the price of land of the Tassia II ‘‘ 350 The number of acres that pension body bought People were buying land under the pretext of building houses…it was too expensive but they were politically connected and the land was not properly evaluated,” Former NSSF boss Naftali Mogere sial approval of expenditure of Sh5.053 billion on infrastructure development for Tassia II and III housing schemes that there were no plans to develop the land. Responding to questions, he said squatters who had invaded the land, led by the late Embakasi MP David Mwenje, visited him and negotiated to have the fund sell the plots to them rather than be evicted, hence the process by NSSF to regularise the plots. The Federation of Kenya Employers and the Central Organisation of Trade Unions representing employers and workers on the NSSF Board have already appeared before the parliamentary committee and have disowned the process used to approve the Sh5.053 bn for the upgrade, saying it was not presented to the Board for formal approval as expected. FKE Executive Director Jacqueline Mugo told the committee that powerful forces could be behind the project.
February 18th 2014
February 20th 2014