The membership of a parliamentary committee is up in arms after it emerged that their chairman was allocated Sh4.2 billion for the construction of roads in his constituency to buy his allegiance.
The bone of contention is that Members of Parliament had made a request for Sh30 million each, which translates to Sh8.7 billion for road projects in their constituencies but it was turned down because of lack of funds.
They were surprised to find out later that the chairman of the Parliamentary Committee on Transport David Pkosing (Pokot South) had gone behind their backs and secured the multi-billion-shilling deal for the construction of a 65km road in his constituency.
Members of the committee now claim Pkosing was compromised by the Ministry of Transport to go slow on matters touching on the docket.
There has been a hue and cry by members over the manner committee chairpersons have been compromised by the Executive in form of favours and goodies so as not to push them in relation to audit queries and misuse of funds.
The members of the committee were of the view they would not be in a position to fulfill their oversight role as the chair was already compromised by the Executive.
They argue that it was illogical to allocate Sh4.2 billion to a single constituency for a 65km road, while some constituencies did not have even a single kilometre of bitumen-class road.
The project was advertised in yesterday’s edition of My Gov inviting the wrath of the committee members prompting a meeting to remove him from office.
In the advert, the Kenya Rural Roads Authority, (KeRRA) has issued a tender notice for the upgrading to bitumen standard and performance-based routine maintenance of roads.
The road was identified as Kapsait-Kapsangar -Tapash-Sondany-Kaptambuk, and access to Kaptabuk High Altitude Training Centre measuring 65 km.
A member of the committee Peris Tobiko told the People Daily that it came to the knowledge of members that the chairman had already been compromised when they saw the advert.
According to Tobiko, members of the committee had requested Sh8.7 billion to be shared by all the 290 MPs, with each getting Sh 30 million for roads construction in their constituencies, which was turned down by the Executive.
“When we met President Uhuru Kenyatta he convinced us it would not be possible since Treasury was facing budgetary constraints. That was that, the request was dismissed and we moved on only to hear that the same ministry had found Sh4.2 billion for a single constituency,” she said.
Pkosing declined to discuss the matter, saying, ”Just leave it as it is, I am on it,” when we caught up with him at Parliament buildings.
Yesterday the plot to replace Pkosing was stopped in its tracks after Speaker Justin Muturi ruled that the meeting was unprocedural since it went against a ruling he gave last week that all committee meetings be stood down until after the Christmas holidays.
“The move by the Speaker to invoke his own ruling has saved the chairman’s neck. However, all is not lost. We are determined and we will revisit the matter in February when we resume,” said Tokibo.
Already 12 members had supported the petition to remove Pkosing. An attempt by two members, Ayub Savula (Lugari) and Gideon Mulyungi (Mwingi Central) to have their names removed from the petition failed owing to an earlier ruling by the Speaker that once a member has appended a signature to a petition they cannot disown it. Another source said a top government official on Monday evening met some of the committee members and prevailed upon them to spare the chairman.
The committee members who had appended their signatures to the petition accused Pkosing of high-handedness.
“It has become untenable to continue working with him as our chairman. His conduct is unbecoming and we cannot tolerate (him) any longer,” said a member who sought not to be named.
Pkosing is facing allegations of being disrespectful to members of the committee, abusing his powers as the chairperson and making unilateral decisions in total disregard of the views of other members.