Capital FM (Nairobi)

11 December 2012

Kenya: MPs Demand Tabling of Supplementary Budget

Nairobi — The Parliamentary Defence Committee now wants Finance Minister Njeru Githae to immediately table the supplementary budget so that the country's police force can get proper funding before the next financial year.

Committee chairman Adan Keynan argued on Tuesday that the police unit had been grossly under-funded and there was need to equip them financially in order to keep the country safe owing to the forthcoming elections.

Keynan said MPs would not close shop before the financial gains for the police in the supplementary budget, are realised.

"The government wants us to go home next week, on December 20, but we will not go home and I am saying this with a lot of authority. This supplementary budget must come," he stressed amidst chuckles.

"We will only go home once we see that there is money for the police and the Criminal Investigation Department and their new police leadership," he maintained.

Keynan, who spoke during a committee hearing on the recent killings in Garissa, Eastleigh and Baragoi, also argued that the country's Vision 2030 projects would fail if little regard was placed on security reforms.

He particularly cited LAPSET which seeks to incorporate the construction of the Lamu port in addition to providing a link to Ethiopia and South Sudan through road and rail as well as the rehabilitation of the Kenya Uganda railway.

The committee also called for the appointments of the top dogs in the police service.

"Right now we have criminal elements vandalising the new Thika superhighway because of insecurity. Our police officers continue living in shambles and we expect them to provide us with security. We must have our priorities rights so that our country remains safe," he argued.

Immigration Minister Otieno Kajwang and his directors also made their way to the committee hearings where they were put to task over the high number of aliens living in the country but who hold original Kenyan identification documents like birth certificates, IDs and Visas.

Kajwang was at pains to explain why there was such a huge influx of non-Kenyans residing in the country arguing that his department was poorly financed and could not operate at optimum level.

"There are instances where there has been corruption at border points and we are working to correct these anomalies and we know that Kenya is overwhelmed by the number of refugees and other non Kenyans living in the country," he said.

The committee members were however unconvinced by Kajwang's arguments asking him to stop placing the blame on other government agencies.

Although Githae had been invited for the sitting to explain how the security agencies in the country are funded he did not show up.

"Money is not an excuse. I don't think that this government cannot get enough money to protect Kenyans. That just shows that security is not a concern for this government," argued Yatta MP Charles Kilonzo.

"You need to start taking initiative so that your colleagues can prioritise security instead of making excuses," added Keynan.

The committee members also cited the recent grenade attack in Eastleigh that left Kamukunji MP Yussuf Hassan badly injured.

"Maybe we should build you (Cabinet Ministers) houses in Eastleigh so that you can think of security," retorted Kilonzo.

Kajwang also spoke about the touchy topic on repatriating refugees arguing that the international conventions that Kenya was party barred such a move.

Keynan however rubbished this argument saying Kenyans' security came first and should not be jeopardised under any circumstances.

Prime Minister Raila Odinga recently said Somali refugees should go back home.

"The issue of being a United Nations member is not important; the issue of having a very elaborate non-governmental organisation refugee act is not an issue. The issue is what we are doing to protect the lives and property of Kenyans," he argued.

He also challenged the Immigration minister to tighten loopholes that exist in his system that allowed non Kenyans to hold valid Kenyan documentations.

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