Now CS Florence Bore angers the entire Parliament

Labour and Social Protection Cabinet Secretary Florence Bore

Labour and Social Protection Cabinet Secretary Florence Bore. 

Photo credit: File | Nation Media Group

What you need to know:

  • Led by Majority Leader Kimani Ichung'wa, the MPs warned Ms Bore against treating the House casually and prioritising activities other than those of Parliament.

Members of Parliament (MPs) have threatened to censure Labour and Social Protection Cabinet Secretary (CS) Florence Bore after she failed to appear in plenary at the National Assembly on Wednesday to answer questions from the lawmakers.

Led by Majority Leader Kimani Ichung'wa, the MPs warned Ms Bore against treating the House casually and prioritising activities other than those of Parliament.

Ms Bore, along with her colleagues Alice Wahome and Zachary Mwangi, was expected to appear in plenary on Wednesday for the weekly question time when Cabinet Secretaries answer questions directly from MPs following the amendment of the Standing Orders.

While Ms Wahome and Mr Mwangi honoured the summons, Ms Bore wrote to the House saying she was engaged in other official duties outside Nairobi and asked the House to reschedule her appearance for Wednesday next week.

In the letter dated July 5, 2023, the CS said she was in Mombasa for the inauguration of the board of the National Industrial Training Authority.

But Mr Ichung’wa termed the letter by the CS as casual and contemptuous.

“We won’t allow any CS, however powerful or mighty you think you are, to treat the representatives of the people with contempt. I spoke to her on the phone and she told me she was going to inaugurate the board of Nita, something that she can re-schedule within her ministry,” Mr Ichung’wa charged.

Not a good record

“Will not defend any CS who is contemptuous of the House or any business of the House. Florence Bore goes on record as the first CS to fail to appear before the House, it’s not a good record. This is a behaviour that we should not tolerate,” he added.

Speaker of the National Assembly Moses Wetang’ula warned Cabinet Secretary against snubbing MPs saying the constitution mandates them to appear before parliament when required.

“This House is the centre of the people’s will, the constitution says whenever required…shall attend not may attend. None of them come to the House (at the time) of their choosing, it’s contemptuous for CS to say ‘I'll not come this Wednesday I’ll come next Wednesday’, nobody knows what will happen next week,” Mr Wetangula said.

“This House takes a dim view of the fact that she has not appeared,” the Speaker added.

Minority Leader Opiyo Wandayi said he has received numerous complaints from MPs over the conduct of CS Bore and it’s time to move an impeachment Motion against her.

“I will be more than happy to second a Motion by the Majority Leader to impeach this particular CS,” Mr Wandayi said.

“We want to remind you that you cannot wield more power than the representatives of the people. You can sit in the Executive but this House has authority over you,” Mr Wandayi added.

Mr Wandayi said should the majority side fail to bring an impeachment Motion, then he has encouraged MPs from the minority coalition to bring the Motion.

Complaints from MPs

“If this House wants to protect its integrity, take the bold step and indict this CS. When this house invites, everything else must wait and run here. I’ve heard a lot of complaints from MPs, on how contemptuous she treats MPs and by extension this House,” Mr Wandayi said.

Budalang’i MP Raphael Wanjala termed CS Bore as arrogant.

“This is the very minister who sent a police officer to arrest a Member of Parliament after failing to pay for his House. She is arrogant (and) has no respect for MPs and this house that vetted her. She must know that we are more senior than her. We will move a Motion to impeach her,” Mr Wanjala warned.

Article 152 (6) of the Constitution states that a member of the National Assembly, supported by at least one-quarter of all the members, may propose a Motion requiring the President to dismiss a Cabinet Secretary.

The grounds for the removal of a Cabinet Secretary include gross violation of a provision of the Constitution or any other law, where there are serious reasons for believing that the Cabinet Secretary has committed a crime under national or international law or gross misconduct.

If at least one-third of the members of the National Assembly support a Motion to remove a Cabinet Secretary the Assembly should appoint a select committee comprising 11 of its members to investigate the matter.