Politics and policy
MPs prepare for battle with Munga
Posted Tuesday, July 17 2012 at 20:06
Businessman Peter Munga’s chairmanship of State-owned National Oil Corporation of Kenya’s board on Tuesday came under serious attack as MPs questioned the legality of a letter he wrote, barring the company’s management from appearing before a parliamentary committee.
The Departmental Committee on Energy, Communication and Information warned that it will move to have Mr Munga and the entire board sacked over the directive he issued in May.
The committee, chaired by Karachunyo MP James Rege, said it will ensure that recommendations of the parliamentary report on last year’s erosion of the shilling’s value are implemented to the letter – making it impossible for Mr Munga to chair the state firm’s board.
The report found Mr Munga’s chairmanship of the Nock board as exposing him to conflict of interest and recommended that he relinquishes the position.
“We have information that Mr Munga is on the Nock board because of the substantial interest he has in the energy sector,” said Rarieda MP Nicholas Gumbo.
“The House adopted the report, which demands that any citizen with an interest in a particular sector cannot chair the board of a state company in that sector. This is perhaps the reasons this public officer is disregarding summons.”
The committee accused Mr Munga of “overstepping his mandate to micro manage Nock”, leading to the management’s dishonouring of legal summons by the House.
The committee told Energy permanent secretary Patrick Nyoike that it will act to have the entire Nock board disbanded if Mr Munga does not appear before it.
“If Mr Munga and the Nock management does not appear before us on Wednesday, we shall recommend disbandment of that board,” Mr Gumbo told Mr Nyoike during Tuesday’s committee hearing.
The committee accused Mr Munga, also the chairman of Equity Bank, of blocking the Nock management from appearing before it despite receiving summonses two months ago.
“We have a letter dated May 23 and which was copied to you and minister Kiraitu Murungi in which Mr Munga purported to instruct the Nock management not deal with this committee,” said Dujis MP Adan Duale. “Let him know that we have power of the High Court to summon anyone.”
The committee had called Mr Nyoike to, among other things, shed light on the measures that have been taken to remove bureaucratic hurdles imposed on Nock operations by state agencies.
The MPs said they were particularly interested in having the Nock management and Energy Ministry iron out their differences in a document the management had submitted to the committee.
Mr Nyoike said that Mr Munga’s letter had caused the minister to summon the chair of the board and Nock managing director Sumayya Hassan Athmani for a meeting to resolve the matter.
“The minister made it clear that Mr Munga’s letter was inappropriate and the two were directed to work harmoniously. I will ensure that they turn up without fail,” the PS said in response to members’ questions.