Former CS Hassan Wario takes offence at ‘shisha addict’ tag by MP – VIDEO
There was drama when former Sports Cabinet Secretary Hassan Wario accused members of a committee of parliament of disrespect after an MP described him as an addict of shisha.
This happened on Thursday during the vetting by the committee on Defence and Foreign Relations of the National Assembly of Mr Wario who has been nominated as Kenya’s ambassador to Austria.
Members of the committee, chaired by Kajiado South MP Katoo ole Metito, had roundly condemned the former CS of below par performance during his reign in the sports docket.
In particular, they condemned Dr Wario’s role in the alleged misappropriation of Sh88 million meant for Kenyan athletes during the 2016 Rio Olympics.
Imenti Central MP Moses Kirima accused Mr Wario of having played ignorant of the scandal upon his return from Rio de Janeiro.
POSITION ON SHISHA BAN
He then asked the former CS to state his position on the ban of shisha by the government “now that you are a known shisha smoking addict”.
The question elicited sharp reactions from other members of the committee, with both Mr Metito and Saku MP Dida Raso ruling the legislator out of order for using unparliamentary language against the nominee.
“You may choose to rephrase your question because the use of word addict implies improper motive on the part of the nominee,” Mr Metito ordered.
Mr Metito further warned the legislator against asking nominees questions that fall in the realm of their personal lives, noting that this was not the best way to vet candidates.
Mr Kirima complied, removing the word addict and opting the phrase, Mr Wario “takes shisha and enjoys it”, sending a loud, uproarious mirth in the room.
But Mr Raso, who had earlier described the nominee as a relative in line with House rules that requires members to declare conflict of interest during committee sessions, described the question as subjective.
“It is subjective because he has not furnished this committee with the necessary documents that will offer evidence of his claims. He must withdraw and apologies,” Mr Raso said.
South Mugirango MP Sylvanus Osoro rushed to Mr Kirima’s defence, describing the question as valid, saying part of the committee’s task was to ask questions that could prick the temperament of the nominees.
“Mr Wario must answer the question because we want to see how he reacts to things he doesn’t like. It’s our duty to ask all manner of questions to nominees who come here,” he said.
The nominee shot back. “I was taken aback by the question.”
“What I do in my private life is none of anyone’s business.”
He told the committee that decision to ban shisha smoking in Kenya was a unilateral decision by the Ministry of Health, which was at that time led by Cleopa Mailu, who has been picked to serve as Kenya’s Permanent representative at the UN Mission in Geneva.
“I was a member of the Cabinet and I don’t remember the issue being discussed in the cabinet,” he said without saying whether the decision was good or bad.
Tourism CS Najib Balala has said the ban on Shisha was a “miscalculated” move.