The past few weeks has seen Joint Parliamentary Committee investigating the sugar scandal come under fire for what has been termed as dismal report. The committee which was to give a report on the safety of sugar being consumed by Kenyans could end up being probed themselves. This is after the house speaker Justine Muturi called for investigation on members of the Joint Committee of Trade and Investments.
Parliamentary committees have in the past been actively involved in probing scandals that have occurred. The result of these probes unfortunately is nothing to write home about. Reports of these committees follow a similar pattern where they have visits to affected areas, public grilling of alleged suspects before live TV and thereafter the report tabled in the house. The tabling of the report seems to be the end of everything with the few recommendations hardly adhered to.
It is no secret most of the committee members are compromised in cases they are supposed to investigate. This makes the whole thing just a cash cow where the MPs get hefty allowances at the expense of major loses of taxpayer’s money. Notable probes such as the NYS 1 only led to the resignation of the then cabinet secretary Ann Waiguru, no successful prosecutions resulted from the probe. The same goes to the recent maize scandal probe where anything substantial is yet to come out of it.
The fight against corruption should be left to established agencies such as the Ethics and Anti- Corruption Commission or the Directorate of Criminal Investigation to carry out conclusive investigations that result in successful prosecution. Parliamentary committees do not have the expertise and the legal backing to fight corruption.