Nairobi,KENYA: Environment CS Keriako Tobiko has denied snubbing a summon by parliament to explain the challenges that his docket was facing.
In a statement issued on Friday, the CS said that he had sought a postponement of the appearance as it coincided with the World Water Day celebrations that were held Murang’a county on Wednesday.
“On Tuesday 20th March 2018 afternoon, I received an invitation from the National Assembly departmental committee on Environment and Natural resources dated Wednesday 14th March requiring me to appear before the committee on Thursday 22nd, 2018,” Keriako said in a statement.
However, on Thursday, the chairperson of the National assembly departmental committee Kareke Mbiuki told journalists that he had summoned Keriako after he failed to honor their invite.
Keriako says he wrote back to Mbiuki informing him of prior engagements and further asked the Principal Secretary Charles Sunkuli to appear before the committee to formally seek a postponement of the appearance to a convenient date.
The CS says that he later called Mbiuki on Thursday morning to inform him of the postponement and the call left him convinced that both parties would mutually agree on a further date.
Earlier in the month, Tobiko sent home officials of the Kenya Forest service who were linked to logging and destruction of forest cover in the country.
The officers sent home were those deployed at Kibiku, Thogoto, Olalua and Ngong forest stations and he further directed the KFS to begin the necessary rehabilitation methods which would include replanting of trees cut down and banning of farming inside forests.
The chief conservator Mr. Emilio Mugo was also replaced with Monica Kalenda after he stepped aside to allow investigations.
The Kenya Forest Service has been the epicenter of accusations after media reports accused the forest officers of allowing logging and destruction of forest cover in the name harvesting of overgrown trees.