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BY NAMULONGO PETER,NAIROBI,23RD JUNE,2020-National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi has dismissed a motion that sought the sacking of Transport Secretary James Macharia from the Cabinet.
The motion by Nyali MP Mohammed Ali was supported by 90 of the 349 members of the National Assembly as required by the law.
Mr Ali had accused Mr Macharia of gross violation of the Constitution and gross misconduct.
In his communication to the House Tuesday afternoon, Mr Muturi announced that the motion was not accompanied by the requisite evidence to substantiate the allegations leveled against the CS and therefore could not proceed for debate.
“It is therefore my determination that the proposed motion is not admissible,” Mr Muturi told the House and directed National Assembly Clerk Michael Sialai to communicate to Mr Ali of his decision.
The Nyali lawmaker had accused Mr Macharia for gross misconduct and violating the Constitution following his policy directive last year that made it mandatory for all containers imported through the port of Mombasa to use the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) to the Naivasha Inland Container Depot.
Mr Ali in his notice dated June 6, 2020, noted that CS Macharia violated Article 10 (1) (C) of the Constitution by not undertaking public participation before making the directive especially with leaders and stakeholders from the Coastal region.
The directive caused a public outcry and has affected the transportation sector negatively, forcing some container freight firms to close business leading to the loss of over 100,000 jobs.
Mr Ali claimed that Mr Macharia misrepresented the truth under oath while appearing before the Senate committee on Roads in December 2019, as captured by the Hansard Report that his directive had since been suspended yet that was not the case.
But, the Nyali MP vowed to push on with his bid to have Mr Macharia sacked from the Cabinet, saying the Speaker’s ruling was part of a bigger scheme to silence him.
Speaking to the Nation on phone Tuesday, Mr Ali said he sensed a well-orchestrated campaign to throw away his motion.
“How do you explain this? My motion passed through two stages without anybody noticing that I hadn’t attached evidence. The National Assembly clerk approved it without raising the issue of evidence,” said Mr Ali.
Mr Ali, an Independent MP, claimed there were some powerful forces frustrating his efforts to fight for the rights of Coastal people.
“I have written to the Speaker and attached the evidence. Even in courts, evidence is usually given when in the dock. I wanted to give it on the floor of the House, but now that this becomes grounds for disqualification, I will do as they demand,” he said.
His Mvita counterpart Abdulswamad Nassir assured Mombasa people that all was not lost because a motion he has filed in the House is still in place.
“My motion tackles the real issue and is pending in Parliament. I have raised pertinent issues regarding use of Standard Gauge Railway and I’m looking forward to a positive response,” said Mr Nassir.
Likoni MP Mishi Mboko said she didn’t support Mr Ali’s motion because apart from being a duplication of what Mr Nassir presented, the colleague behaved like a lone ranger.
“If indeed Mr Ali wanted our support he should have consulted his senior colleagues on how to prepare a water-tight document,” Ms Mboko noted.
Mr Ali had also accused CS Macharia of overseeing stalled government projects worth over Sh100 billion and being part of the Afya House scandal that saw taxpayers lose Sh5.2 billion in 2016 when he was the Health CS.
The Transport CS is also blamed for failing to explain the loss of Sh1.5 billion that was meant for construction of housing projects in Nairobi by Suraya Property Group.