MPs Warned Of Disciplinary Action for Speaking Against Bunge Towers

MPs Warned Of Disciplinary Action for Speaking Against Bunge Towers

National Assembly Speaker Moses Wetangula, who also chairs the Parliamentary Service Commission, has warned of disciplinary action against Members of Parliament speaking against the soon-to-be opened Bunge Towers.

Speaking on the floor of the House on Wednesday, Wetangula said the MPs might find themselves before the Powers and Privileges Committee for speaking on the project without having sufficient information.

The Speaker, who communicated to the House that the President would be officially opening the premises on Friday, allayed any fears that the building is not ready for use and persuaded members to ignore what he called “rejectionist philosophers.”

“The building is ready, there are six high speed lifts all working sufficiently as any building you would find in Manhattan in the US. The offices are ready, the furniture has been put in place, the gym has been equipped, the kitchen and modern dining is in place,” he told the legislators.

“I want to assure you members that even the library we have set up for you is a digital library you, you will access any book on earth. You’re going to be allocated personal parking, those who want to walk straight from your office to the chamber there is a connecting channel.”

Wetangula was responding to concerns by Minority Leader Opiyo Wandayi on the negative publicity the opening of the building has generated, insisting that Parliament needed to clean its name on the project.

“’We have been treated to negative publicity on that project, the institution of Parliament occupies a very unique place in this country, it must be beyond reproach, because we have an onerous role of oversighting not only the Executive, but all the institutions, the questions that are being asked, what do we do?” Wandayi posed

“How do we assuage the public? How do we address these concerns that are coming from the project? On the efficacy of the Bunge Tower project.”

However, the Speaker asked members to ignore the naysayers and instead be ready to enjoy the facility that has been built using taxpayers’ money.

“I have seen members who are pouring vitriol, scorn, anger on this building; those members might find themselves before the Powers and Privileges Committee because they are talking of things they know very little about,” cautioned Wetangula.

“Even in your villages, you can move in your house without putting up windows, before you sprout it out to be the building you want. We had a choice of leaving the building to be a white elephant or to move in, let’s not join those that I call the rejectionist philosophers in the streets of Nairobi who always say nothing good can come from Nazareth.”

Rarieda MP Otiende Amollo suggested that the matter should be brought before the Public Accounts Committee to determine whether there was any fraud.

“There is need to move this issue to the Public Accounts Committee so that those with issues, those you are calling rejectionist philosophers, then get a forum to ventilate away from the streets,” he said.

Earlier, Nandi Senator Samson Cherargei had demanded the postponement of the opening of the house until key questions being asked are answered.

“PSC should be taken to explain the mystery of billions surrounding the construction of Bunge Towers which has been a moving target and has taken all these years to be completed,” Cherargei said.

The construction of the building started in 2010 with an initial budget of Ksh.5.89 billion. Later, it was revised to Ksh.7.1 billion before being pushed to Ksh.9.6 billion.

“It’s interesting when we compare Bunge Towers with the CBK pension towers that took less than three and half years to be completed; it is a 27-storey and an ultra-modern building that cost Ksh.2.49 billion,” added Cherargei.

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