Senate Fines Energy CS Charles Keter For Snubbing Summon Over Hiked Fuel Prices

KEY POINTS

  • The Senate has fined Energy CS Kshs500, 000 for failing to appear before the energy committee to answer questions on the high fuel prices.
  • Last week, the senators summoned Keter and his Petroleum and Mining counterpart John Munyes to appear before them this week and explain the steep rise in fuel prices.
  • The two cabinet secretaries were criticized by senators on Wednesday after they failed to honor the summons.

The Senate has fined Energy CS Kshs500, 000 for failing to appear before the energy committee to answer questions on the high fuel prices.

Last week, the senators summoned Keter and his Petroleum and Mining counterpart John Munyes to appear before them this week and explain the steep rise in fuel prices.

The two cabinet secretaries were criticized by senators on Wednesday after they failed to honor the summons.

Additionally, Keter was required to explain the financial status of Kenya Power and Lighting Company as well as the circumstances that led to the abrupt resignation of KPLC managing director Bernard Ngungi and the wrangles that have put KPLC staff against the board of management.

He was also expected to give details on how his ministry will reduce the cost of electricity for both domestic and consumers.

Keter instead sent his Permanent Secretary Joseph Njoroge saying that he was engaged in an International Atomic Energy Conference.

“We would have no intention at all to snub an invitation by the National Assembly and the Senate and we have never done so,” Njoroge told the committee .

“In this case, I want to categorically confirm that we were coming with the CS, but a representative of the Kenyan government in international atomic energy made an appeal to the government and requested that the CS attends because some issues were weighty and called for the attendance of the CS,” he added.

The senators however were not convinced with the explanation. They sent away the PS while accusing Keter of snubbing the committee at a time when Kenyans were suffering.

“We have invited, summoned and censured these CSs, but, clearly, there seems to be nothing happening. We are doing the same thing, the same way and are expecting different results,” nominated Senator Abshiro Halake remarked.

The senators prevailed on committee chairman Ephraim Maina (Nyeri) to send away the PS, invoke the provisions of the Parliamentary Powers and Privileges Act and punish the CS for treating the committee with contempt.

“This committee has unanimously approved the resolution or judgment that a fine be imposed on the CS of Sh500,000,” Maina said.

RELATED STORY: Senate Deals With Media Houses That Shared False Clip Of House Proceedings

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