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Citizen Weekly

Tuesday, 17 March 2015

ABABU'S POLITICAL FUTURE DOOM AND BLACK

Bribery allegations against Budalang'i MP Ababu Namwamba have put his career at risk and his political future hangs in the balance.
He could go down in flames or his political star could shine brighter than ever.
The flamboyant second-term MP is chairman of the powerful Public Accounts Committee of Parliament and ODM Secretary General. His prospects had been very bright; now they are the subject of speculation.
Today he finds himself in a tight corner, fighting off claims of engaging in corruption to doctor PAC reports.
"Whichever way this goes, there are political consequences. It will either make or break Ababu. If he emerges victorious, his political star will shine brightly and will complicate succession politics in ODM. If he loses this fight, then he can as well go back to Budalang'i and become a fisherman," political commentator Mutahi Ngunyi told the Star.
What at first had seemed a disagreement within the PAC over a probe on the confidential expenditures in the Office of the President has snowballed into a full-blown credibility crisis for Parliament. It raises serious questions about how House committees conduct their affairs.
Two weeks ago, House Speaker Justin Muturi suspended the PAC activities and ordered the Powers and Privileges Committee to investigate the veracity of graft claims leveled against its members. The committee is to report back to the House.
PAC members are accused of having received millions of shillings to water down recommendations on the government's confidential and undocumented expenditures in the 2013-2014 financial year.
In the maze of accusations and counter accusations among PAC members, it appears Ababu has been left to shoulder the blame for what ails his watchdog committee.
Whereas the other members of the Committees have ducked, Ababu has left with the skunk. Late in the week he was joined by Mutea Iringo, the PS in charge of Defense. Iringo is alleged to have induced PAC members to go slow on a probe of some confidential government expenditures.
Accusations of corruption within Parliament are not new. Allegations of MPs receiving bribes from state officers to ignore instances of corruption within state organs are legion, however, beyond hearsay, there has not been concrete evidence.
In the tangle of issues that have emerged since civil war erupted in PAC, Ababu's greatest crime seems to have been his audacity to record his party leader, Raila Odinga. The recording was made of a private conversation in a meeting that involved two other ODM MPs.
This recording has been seized upon by Ababu's numerous critics who have decided to advance the theory of breach of trust, saying Ababu betrayed his leader. More important, this theory is being peddled by those within the party who are opposed to the ambitious Ababu as party secretary.
Throughout this fiasco, Ababu has maintained that his problems are choreographed within his own ODM party, with Jubilee elements cheering on.
Worth noting is that anti-Ababu group is led by Suba MP John Mbadi, who is also the ODM chairman. It includes Edick Anyanga of Nyatike, Abbas Ahmed and a host of other MPs uncomfortable with his reign as SG.
How and whether Ababu regains the trust of this group is hard to predict. His life in ODM could become a nightmare. Political sabotage cannot be ruled out.
But this depends on Raila and whether he considers Ababu disloyal.
Despite everything, Ababu still has the ear of the party leader. It is Raila who intervened to urge Cord MPs to support Ababu against the allegations that threaten to muscle him out of the PAC.
Even though the tape does not incriminate Raila, Ababu's critics say his crime of betrayal is worse than looting public coffers. He is portrayed as a sellout, untrustworthy, unpredictable and dangerous and capable of doing anything, even to his allies.
Regaining trust and respect will be no mean feat, though he enjoys trust in his Luhya political base.
     Ababu risks being ostracised politically as was  John Githongo who secretly recorded incriminating conversations involving powerful people in Mwai Kibaki’s first regime in 2005.
Bribery allegations against Budalang'i MP Ababu Namwamba have put his career at risk and his political future hangs in the balance.
He could go down in flames or his political star could shine brighter than ever.
The flamboyant second-term MP is chairman of the powerful Public Accounts Committee of Parliament and ODM Secretary General. His prospects had been very bright; now they are the subject of speculation.
Today he finds himself in a tight corner, fighting off claims of engaging in corruption to doctor PAC reports.
"Whichever way this goes, there are political consequences. It will either make or break Ababu. If he emerges victorious, his political star will shine brightly and will complicate succession politics in ODM. If he loses this fight, then he can as well go back to Budalang'i and become a fisherman," political commentator Mutahi Ngunyi told the Star.
What at first had seemed a disagreement within the PAC over a probe on the confidential expenditures in the Office of the President has snowballed into a full-blown credibility crisis for Parliament. It raises serious questions about how House committees conduct their affairs.
Two weeks ago, House Speaker Justin Muturi suspended the PAC activities and ordered the Powers and Privileges Committee to investigate the veracity of graft claims leveled against its members. The committee is to report back to the House.
PAC members are accused of having received millions of shillings to water down recommendations on the government's confidential and undocumented expenditures in the 2013-2014 financial year.
In the maze of accusations and counter accusations among PAC members, it appears Ababu has been left to shoulder the blame for what ails his watchdog committee.
Whereas the other members of the Committees have ducked, Ababu has left with the skunk. Late in the week he was joined by Mutea Iringo, the PS in charge of Defense. Iringo is alleged to have induced PAC members to go slow on a probe of some confidential government expenditures.
Accusations of corruption within Parliament are not new. Allegations of MPs receiving bribes from state officers to ignore instances of corruption within state organs are legion, however, beyond hearsay, there has not been concrete evidence.
In the tangle of issues that have emerged since civil war erupted in PAC, Ababu's greatest crime seems to have been his audacity to record his party leader, Raila Odinga. The recording was made of a private conversation in a meeting that involved two other ODM MPs.
This recording has been seized upon by Ababu's numerous critics who have decided to advance the theory of breach of trust, saying Ababu betrayed his leader. More important, this theory is being peddled by those within the party who are opposed to the ambitious Ababu as party secretary.
Throughout this fiasco, Ababu has maintained that his problems are choreographed within his own ODM party, with Jubilee elements cheering on.
Worth noting is that anti-Ababu group is led by Suba MP John Mbadi, who is also the ODM chairman. It includes Edick Anyanga of Nyatike, Abbas Ahmed and a host of other MPs uncomfortable with his reign as SG.
How and whether Ababu regains the trust of this group is hard to predict. His life in ODM could become a nightmare. Political sabotage cannot be ruled out.
But this depends on Raila and whether he considers Ababu disloyal.
Despite everything, Ababu still has the ear of the party leader. It is Raila who intervened to urge Cord MPs to support Ababu against the allegations that threaten to muscle him out of the PAC.
Even though the tape does not incriminate Raila, Ababu's critics say his crime of betrayal is worse than looting public coffers. He is portrayed as a sellout, untrustworthy, unpredictable and dangerous and capable of doing anything, even to his allies.
Regaining trust and respect will be no mean feat, though he enjoys trust in his Luhya political base.
     Ababu risks being ostracised politically as was  John Githongo who secretly recorded incriminating conversations involving powerful people in Mwai Kibaki’s first regime in 2005.
- See more at: http://www.the-star.co.ke/article/ababu-political-future-hangs-balance#sthash.uL2JuQca.dpuf
Bribery allegations against Budalang'i MP Ababu Namwamba have put his career at risk and his political future hangs in the balance.
He could go down in flames or his political star could shine brighter than ever.
The flamboyant second-term MP is chairman of the powerful Public Accounts Committee of Parliament and ODM Secretary General. His prospects had been very bright; now they are the subject of speculation.
Today he finds himself in a tight corner, fighting off claims of engaging in corruption to doctor PAC reports.
"Whichever way this goes, there are political consequences. It will either make or break Ababu. If he emerges victorious, his political star will shine brightly and will complicate succession politics in ODM. If he loses this fight, then he can as well go back to Budalang'i and become a fisherman," political commentator Mutahi Ngunyi told the Star.
What at first had seemed a disagreement within the PAC over a probe on the confidential expenditures in the Office of the President has snowballed into a full-blown credibility crisis for Parliament. It raises serious questions about how House committees conduct their affairs.
Two weeks ago, House Speaker Justin Muturi suspended the PAC activities and ordered the Powers and Privileges Committee to investigate the veracity of graft claims leveled against its members. The committee is to report back to the House.
PAC members are accused of having received millions of shillings to water down recommendations on the government's confidential and undocumented expenditures in the 2013-2014 financial year.
In the maze of accusations and counter accusations among PAC members, it appears Ababu has been left to shoulder the blame for what ails his watchdog committee.
Whereas the other members of the Committees have ducked, Ababu has left with the skunk. Late in the week he was joined by Mutea Iringo, the PS in charge of Defense. Iringo is alleged to have induced PAC members to go slow on a probe of some confidential government expenditures.
Accusations of corruption within Parliament are not new. Allegations of MPs receiving bribes from state officers to ignore instances of corruption within state organs are legion, however, beyond hearsay, there has not been concrete evidence.
In the tangle of issues that have emerged since civil war erupted in PAC, Ababu's greatest crime seems to have been his audacity to record his party leader, Raila Odinga. The recording was made of a private conversation in a meeting that involved two other ODM MPs.
This recording has been seized upon by Ababu's numerous critics who have decided to advance the theory of breach of trust, saying Ababu betrayed his leader. More important, this theory is being peddled by those within the party who are opposed to the ambitious Ababu as party secretary.
Throughout this fiasco, Ababu has maintained that his problems are choreographed within his own ODM party, with Jubilee elements cheering on.
Worth noting is that anti-Ababu group is led by Suba MP John Mbadi, who is also the ODM chairman. It includes Edick Anyanga of Nyatike, Abbas Ahmed and a host of other MPs uncomfortable with his reign as SG.
How and whether Ababu regains the trust of this group is hard to predict. His life in ODM could become a nightmare. Political sabotage cannot be ruled out.
But this depends on Raila and whether he considers Ababu disloyal.
Despite everything, Ababu still has the ear of the party leader. It is Raila who intervened to urge Cord MPs to support Ababu against the allegations that threaten to muscle him out of the PAC.
Even though the tape does not incriminate Raila, Ababu's critics say his crime of betrayal is worse than looting public coffers. He is portrayed as a sellout, untrustworthy, unpredictable and dangerous and capable of doing anything, even to his allies.
Regaining trust and respect will be no mean feat, though he enjoys trust in his Luhya political base.
     Ababu risks being ostracised politically as was  John Githongo who secretly recorded incriminating conversations involving powerful people in Mwai Kibaki’s first regime in 2005.
- See more at: http://www.the-star.co.ke/article/ababu-political-future-hangs-balance#sthash.uL2JuQca.dpuf