30 MPs sign up to sack Lands Cabinet Secretary Charity Ngilu
Nairobi, Kenya: An ODM MP has drafted a special Motion seeking to force the removal of Mrs Charity Ngilu from the Cabinet days after Parliament condemned her for violating the Constitution.
In what might be her biggest political battle, the embattled Cabinet Secretary for Lands, Housing and Urban Development risks losing her position in President Uhuru Kenyatta’s Government only six months into office.
Eldas MP Adan Keynan has drafted the Motion that details six grounds for her sacking and is circulating the document among his colleagues to seek their support.
The Constitution requires at least one quarter of members of the House or 87 MPs back the motion for it to be formally introduced in the House.
Sunday, Keynan, also the chairman of Public Investment Committee, claimed he had collected over 30 signatures and hoped to attain the requisite number by tomorrow to have the Motion slotted for debate.
The censure Motion arises from last Wednesday’s adoption by the National Assembly of a report that reprimanded Ngilu for violating the Constitution by making illegal appointments.
The draft motion, a copy of which The Standard obtained, urges the President to dismiss Ngilu “on the grounds of gross violation of Article 234 of the Constitution and section 107(1) of the Land Registration Act and for gross misconduct.”
Keynan lists six accusations against Ngilu that include usurping the constitutional powers of the Public Service Commission (PSC) to establish and abolish offices in the public service and to appoint persons. She is accused of gross misconduct by appointing Peter Kahuho as Director-General in the ministry. Ngilu subsequently revoked the appointment after uproar.
Ngilu also faces another charge of violating the Constitution “by purporting to remove the power to sign title deeds from the Commissioner of Lands and vesting the same in the office of Director-General which she created unconstitutionally.
She is further accused of violating section 107(1) of the Land Registration Act that provided for the continuation of the power of the Commissioner of Lands to sign title deeds. The immediate holder of the position is Zablon Mabea.
Keynan also says Ngilu should be held liable for misleading the House that she appointed Kahuho because Mabea had ill health.
He also accuses the Cabinet Secretary of gross misconduct by failing to consult with the Attorney-General’s office before publication of a gazette notice.
Ngilu also faces claims of not being forthright when appearing before a parliamentary committee where she explained that she relied on a draft report to make the unilateral appointment.
MPs, however, appeared divided Sunday over the planned Motion that some said was hurried and questioned its motive.
MPs Joe Mutambo (Mwingi Central), Mpuri Aburi (Tigania), Ken Okoth (Kibra), Jimmy Angwenyi (Kitutu Chache North), Moses Sakuda (Kajiado West) and Cecily Mbarire (Runyejes) said they would not support the motion.
Sakuda, who is the Lands Committee Vice-Chairman, questioned the hurry in collecting the signatures saying that was an indication that some people had ulterior motives.
“I will not support the motion. Our report was very clear and had its recommendation of revoking the gazette notice, reinstating the officers who were transferred and taking responsibility. We are waiting for the implementation committee to follow up. There is no way we can start collecting signatures when the ink on the paper has not even dried,” Sakuda added.
Mutambo wondered why those who are calling for Ngilu’s ouster had failed to act when President Kenyatta irregularly appointed John Mututho as Nacada chairman before revoking the appointment.
“If they are man enough, let them start by summoning the President and reprimanding him for Mututho’s appointment. Any move to hound Ngilu out of office using Parliament will not work,” Mutambo added.
But Keynan defended his move saying: “Given the president has not shown any sign of taking action, we have decided to do it because what she committed is serious.”
Kieni MP Kanini Kega said: “We are hoping that the President will act and relieve her of her duties since, as the House, we did our part.”
“If there is any attempt by a member to bring a censure motion against Ngilu, that can be dealt at that level. Every motion will be looked at its own merit and MPs will vote with their conscience,” said Delegated Legislation Committee chairman and Baringo North MP William Cheptumo.-standardmedia