CS Matiangi faults MPs and Senators over Huduma Namba after a botched meeting on the same

Late last week a meeting convened by both the senate and the National Assembly to dig into the Huduma Namba ended immaturely as the sides could not come into an agreement on the matter.

The CS Interior felt unease on the matter and had to fight back furiously on both houses.

Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i has faulted the two Houses of Parliament for allegedly dragging the Executive into their supremacy battles.

Dr Matiang’i also took a dig at the Senate, declaring that it has no mandate to supervise his ministry as national security is not part of the devolved functions.

Dr Matiang’i has thus written to Attorney General Paul Kihara seeking an advisory opinion over the nexus between the National Assembly and the Senate in oversight of his ministry, especially where national security is concerned.

“The mandate of the Senate is restricted to the exercise of supervisory role on matters touching on counties as opposed to the national government. National security is not one of the devolved functions under the Constitution,” Dr Matiang’i says in the letter to Mr Kihara dated March 4.

Dr Matiang’i’s anger stems from the decision by the Senate to launch investigations into the controversial implementation of the Sh6 billion National Integrated Identity Management System (Niims), also known as Huduma Namba.

The matter was brought to the Senate by Kericho senator Aaron Cheruiyot, who sought a statement from the ministry on the reasons behind the introduction of Niims, warning that the system could infringe on the rights of Kenyans.

Among other things Mr Cheruiyot wanted made public are the ownership details of the companies that are undertaking the exercise, whether due procurement process was followed in acquiring the services, what the Niims exercise entails, the expected budgets for each component and the justification for each.

Baringo senator Gideon Moi argued that the programme violates people’s right to privacy and insisted that the necessary laws must be put in place before the Niims data is collected.

Yesterday, Nandi senator Samson Cherargei, who chairs the Justice Committee, dismissed the position adopted by the CS and noted that the matter had long been settled by the Supreme Court. “This is one joke taken too far. If anything, this is an attempt by some people in the Executive to intimidate Parliament,” Mr Cherargei 

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