Baringo Senator Gideon Moi on Wednesday stirred an uproar in Parliament after comments he made on the Solai Dam tragedy which saw 48 people lose their lives.
Speaking in the Senate, Mr Moi argued that the ongoing investigations being conducted by the Senate ad hoc Committee led by Makueni Senator Mutula Kilonzo were unlawful.
According to the Baringo Senator, since the matter was already in court, the Senate ought to suspend the probe noting that it will prejudice the court’s decision.
He quoted Senate’s standing orders which restricts lawmakers from probing a matter that is sub judice.
Sub judice means that the matter is under judicial consideration and therefore prohibited from public discussion elsewhere.
“The subject matter is actively in court and in our standing orders number 92, it says that we cannot refer to any matter that is sub judice in which by the expression of any written law is secret.
“A matter shall be considered to be sub judice when it refers to active criminal or civil proceeding and its discussion is likely to prejudice its third determination.
“Can we really continue with this matter in light that it is sub judice and in court?” Moi questioned.
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However, Senator Mutula, who has been actively involved in the investigations, dismissed the claims stating that the Solai tragedy was a matter of public interest.
“The matter of public interest in the Solai dam tragedy which is actually being investigated by both Houses is in the interest of the Senate to get into the bottom of this matter as quickly as possible even before the trial of the accused person. We might help the court and this country,” Mutula Jr said.
The session speaker Meru Senator Mithika Linturi directed that the matter is deliberated on Thursday afternoon.
“I direct that this motion be deferred to tomorrow 2.30pm. Also, I recommend that this matter be given high priority during the Senate session,” Linturi said.
This comes at a time when Patel farm owner Perry Mansukh through his lawyer told the Senate that they were uncomfortable to answer any questions because the matter was still in court.
“The charges my client is facing carry a life sentence. That cannot be joked around with. We feel the courts should be allowed to deal with this issue. We are objecting to giving any evidence to this committee.” lawyer Evans Monari told the Senate committee which described him as a hostile witness.