Media barred from meeting where Matiang’i grilled over arrest of Senators


Media barred from meeting where Matiang'i grilled over arrest of Senators
Interior CS Fred Matiang'i arrives in Parliament on August 19, 2020 after he was summoned to explain the arrest of three Senators. PHOTO | COURTESY

Journalists were blocked from covering a session between Internal Security CS Fred Matiangi and the Senate security committee on Wednesday morning.

Also Read: ‘I will not go alone even if they bomb my house!’ Malala says police cut off his power, water supply

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.

Journalists outside Parliament after they were barred from covering the meeting with Interior CS Fred Matiang'i. PHOTO | EDWIN OBUYA
Journalists outside Parliament after they were barred from covering the meeting with Interior CS Fred Matiang’i. PHOTO | EDWIN OBUYA

 

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.

Interior CS Fred Matiang'i arrives in Parliament on August 19, 2020 after he was summoned to explain the arrest of three Senators. PHOTO | COURTESY
Interior CS Fred Matiang’i arrives in Parliament on August 19, 2020 after he was summoned to explain the arrest of three Senators. PHOTO | COURTESY
Front row: Interior CS Fred Matiang'i (centre), Police IG Hillary Mutyambai (right) and DCI George Kinoti (left)
Front row: Interior CS Fred Matiang’i (centre), Police IG Hillary Mutyambai (right) and DCI George Kinoti (left). PHOTO | COURTESY

Also Read: Revenue formula debate adjourned following protests over arrest of three Senators

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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Story By Edwin Obuya
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