By: JOHN NGIRACHU
National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi has declared that anybody summoned by a parliamentary team must appear before it.
He has backed the Public Accounts Committee in its confrontation with the Chief Justice.
Citing the Constitution, Mr Muturi said it is clear that any witness invited or summoned by the National Assembly or its committees is obliged to attend.
“This includes the chairperson of the Judicial Service Commission or the holder of that office in that capacity or personal capacity. Should the Chief Justice be required to appear before a committee of this House in his capacity as the CJ, the respective chairperson will preside over such a meeting,” said the speaker.
Mr Muturi declined to reopen a report by the Public Accounts Committee to accommodate the input of CJ Willy Mutunga, who had complained in writing to the House leadership.
He added that any MP can, however, propose amendments to it to incorporate the CJ’s sentiments.
The Speaker advised the committee and the Public Investments Committee to set up meetings of the “Big Six” — the chief justice, the auditor-general, the attorney-general, the finance cabinet secretary, the controller of budget and the budget and appropriations committee chairman — to handle policy issues at the end of the audit cycle.
Last week, the Speaker criticised the chief justice for sharing his letter to the House leadership with the media.
On Thursday, he criticised him for refusing to meet the Public Accounts Committee when the special audit report of the Judiciary was being considered and then submitting his letters to the leadership 16 weeks after the report was tabled.
SOURCE: DAILY NATION