Tourism Cabinet Secretary Peninah Malonza could be in a fresh battle yet again even as she struggles to save herself from accusations of being incompetent and unsuitable to hold public office.
The CS was on Monday forced to make an immediate appearance before the National Assembly committee on Tourism and Wildlife landing from Jamaica.
The agitated legislators had warned her of dire consequences after she failed to turn up for last week’s summon.
The CS arrived in the country on Monday morning and rushed straight to KICC to solve the MPs standoff request.
The MPs through WhatsApp communication in our possessions indicates that they had given the CS only upto to Wednesday 5PM to appear or face an early impeachment.
The committee, chaired by Matara MP Kareke Mbiuki, had condemned CS Malonza’s actions, saying they have harmed the country’s image and jeopardized its tourism interests.
The committee’s standoff with the CS is in regard to the Ministry’s proposed FY2022-2023 supplementary budget estimates.
Our sources within the national assembly indicate that upon her arrival, the MPs engaged her in a heated closed door meeting where she allegedly “sanitized their anger” with a lucrative offer which we are made to understand was in the region ofSh15million.
“She had to quickly mobilize through allies in the ministry and her loyal friends to raise the handsome package which cooled the nerves of the irate MPs,”
A source within the parliament group said that the ministry has used a lot of money that cannot be accounted for and now wants President William Ruto to either sack the CS or make changes in the ministry before it is too late.
A news item carried by KTN news revealed that the CS is one of the CSs who have already been reprimanded by President William Ruto over non-performance.
Players in the sector claim that most of the donkey work in the ministry is being run by Tourism PS John Ololtuaa who appears to understand the sector more than the CS.
It has also emerged that the President prefers to deal more with the PS and the Kenya Tourism Board CEO, John Chirchir.
There have been questions on whether Malonza understands the importance of her docket given that the government has slashed her budget.
The CS has herself admitted that the proposed cuts under the supplementary budget touch on travel which may affect how the ministry markets the country.
“If you look at the development budget that was cut by Sh2 billion which is more on travelling, then it means we will lack money to travel out there to market the country,” Malonza told the House Tourism and Wildlife Committee on Monday.
Malonza is said to be hiding her dealings through proxies whose identities are hidden due to security reasons. The proxies who most of them are men are said to be conducting business and soliciting bribes on her-behalf.
While Malonza cited growth of tourism sector saying tourist numbers had risen to 1.4 million from 800,000 in just five months, facts indicate that these are figures based on post-Covid 19 period given that the country was on a steady rise before the pandemic.