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Watchdog team to legislate law giving them power to issue warrants of arrest.

A Senate watchdog committee will legislate a law allowing senators to issue warrants of arrest against governors defying summonses to respond to county matters under probe.

Senate Public Accounts Committee chairman Moses Kajwang' yesterday told the Star his team will put the law proposed by outgoing DPP Keriako Tobiko in place to deal with defiant governors. The Director of Public Prosecutions last year asked the PAC to introduce new provisions in the Parliamentary Powers and Privileges Bill, 2014, to issue warrants of arrest and fine uncooperative governors.

Tobiko advised senators, following Kakamega Governor Wycliffe Oparanya's failure to honour the committee summonses to respond to audit queries on suspicious county expenditures from the time he assumed office in 2013.

'We will tighten loopholes in the Parliamentary Powers and Privileges law. There are gaps in law, hence it needs to be strengthened in totality, considering that our devolution is barely five years,' Kajwang' said.

Senators relied on the DPP to have governors defying committee summonses prosecuted, but the High Court barred the prosecutions office from using the Penal Code provision to prefer charges on belligerent county bosses. The court, instead, directed that uncooperative governors should be punished under the Parliamentary Powers and Privileges Act provisions.

The Act, however, lacks the provision for parliamentary committees to independently issue warrants of arrest and fines, among other penalties.

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Publication:The Star (Nairobi, Kenya)
Date:Jan 12, 2018
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