Media barred from meeting where Matiang’i grilled over arrest of Senators
Journalists were blocked from covering a session between Internal Security CS Fred Matiangi and the Senate security committee on Wednesday morning.
Matiang’i and Police IG Hillary Mutyambai were summoned to explain circumstances that led to the arrest of Senators Cleophas Malala (Kakamega), Steve Lelegwe (Samburu) and Dr. Christopher Lagat (Bomet) on Monday.
They had failed to appear on Monday, a move that saw Senators demand stern action.
CS Matiang’i drove himself to Parliament and found journalists waiting to cover the session.
Chairperson of the Senate committee Yussuf Haji wondered why journalists were allowed into the premises despite them having received Press invites.
“What are you doing here, I don’t remember inviting you here, go back we will call you later,” he said.
Bomet Senator Christopher Langat and his Samburu counterpart Lelegwe were on Monday arrested by officers from the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI).
Senator Lelegwe was arrested while on his way to the House and taken to Samburu for questioning.
Police officers had for the better part of Sunday night and Monday morning camped outside the homes of Senator Langat and his Kakamega counterpart Cleophas Malala.
Senator Langat, speaking from a window of his Nyayo Estate home in Nairobi in a video shared on social media, claimed he was being threatened and intimidated “from all corners” over his stand on the government-backed revenue allocation formula.
Last week, Kericho Senator Aaron Cheruiyot claimed that his counterparts who voted for the amendment by Meru Senator Mithika Linturi woke up to frozen bank accounts and harassment from the taxman.
“A number of senators who voted in support of Sen Linturi’s amendment to the revenue formula report woke up to frozen accounts and fictitious tax demands from KRA. Shameful of the so called system. The resolve is firmer. Kenya must win this war against impunity,” he tweeted.
On his part, Senator Malala said claims of his bank accounts being frozen were attempts to intimidate him to change his position on the contentious revenue sharing formula before the Senate.
Malala says he has clarified with Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) officials and he is tax compliant.
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