Journalists were on Wednesday morning barred from covering the grilling of Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i and Inspector General of Police Hillary Mutyambai regarding the recent arrest of Senators amid the county revenue sharing impasse.
The Senate Committee meeting is said to have started at 10am with the CS and the IG arriving minutes before the meeting kicked off.
Journalists who had arrived in Parliament were ordered out by the chairman of the National Security Committee Yusuf Haji.
“What are you doing here. I don’t remember inviting you here. Go back we will call you back later,” the Garissa Senator told journalists.
Senate Speaker Kenneth Lusaka had ordered the panel to summon the top security bosses after they skipped an invitation on Monday to explain the arrest of the senators.
The three senators who were arrested prior to the debate on revenue sharing formula include Cleophas Malala (Kakamega), Steve Lelegwe (Samburu) and Dr Christopher Langat (Bomet).
Deputy President William Ruto and ODM leader Raila Odinga condemned the dramatic arrests calling out the state for using the criminal justice system to intimidate and blackmail elected leaders.
Lelegwe and Langat were released on Monday evening after recording statements with the police in their home counties.
Police released Malala on Tuesday morning after protests by Kakamega residents. The senator was freed unconditionally as the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) reportedly dropped all charges against him.
The President Uhuru Kenyatta-led government has been accused of intimidating senators opposed to the population-driven formula fronted by the state.
Last week, Kericho Senator Aaron Cheruiyot claimed that his counterparts who voted for the amendment by Meru Senator Mithika Linturi woke up to frozen bank accounts and harassment from the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA).
“A number of senators who voted in support of Sen Linturi’s amendment to the revenue formula report woke up to frozen accounts and fictitious tax demands from KRA. Shameful of the so called system. The resolve is firmer. Kenya must win this war against impunity,” tweeted Cheruiyot.
Senator Malala has since confirmed that his bank accounts were frozen by the state.