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Citizen Weekly

Thursday, 26 March 2015

FIVE MINISTERS FACE THE AXE OVER CORRUPTION

Five Cabinet secretaries are among public officers believed to be in the list of 175 individuals implicated in corruption and presented to Parliament by President Uhuru Kenyatta yesterday.
If confirmed, the five are required to step aside in accordance with President Uhuru’s directive when he delivered his State of the Nation address to Parliament yesterday. Sources told the People Daily that among CSs likely to be in the list are Charity Ngilu (Lands), Davies Chirchir (Energy and Petroleum), Kazungu Kambi (Labour), Felix Koskei (Agriculture) and Michael Kamau (Infrastructure).
Others believed to make up the list are eight governors and several principal secretaries besides high level public officials named in a confidential report by the Ethics and Anti-corruption Commission (EACC) which the President handed over to Parliament yesterday.
It was not immediately clear why the list of 175 public officers was compiled as speakers Justin Muturi (National Assembly) and Ekwee Ethuro (Senate) who had been scheduled to release all the details postponed the announcement till next Tuesday when the report will be tabled.
The eight principal secretaries include Chief of Staff in the Deputy President’s office (Keitany Maryane), Patrick Omutia (Mining) James Teko (Water), Mutea Iringo (Defence) and Francis Kimemia (Secretary to the Cabinet), Nduva Muli (Transport) and Esther Koimet (Investment Secretary).
Eight governors, members of the Public Accounts Committee, two Cord senators, four parastatal chiefs including Charles Tanui (Kenya Pipeline) Mbugua Lucy (Reinstated at KAA) and Richard Langat (NSSF). Also believed to be included are four Members of Parliament whose names are John Serut (Mt Elgon), Sonia Birdi (nominated), Richard Onyonka (Kitutu Chache) and Alfred Keter (Nandi Hills).
The Cabinet secretaries, two from the Uhuru’s TNA and three from Deputy President William Ruto’s URP, are among top level officials expected to step aside after the President directed that they do. The eight governors are Evans Kidero (Nairobi), Alfred Mutua (Machakos), Hassan Joho (Mombasa), Peter Munya (Meru), Isaac Ruto (Bomet), Marsabit’s Ukur Yatani,  Kilifi’s Amason Kingi, Garissa’s Nathif Jama and Godana Doyo (Isiolo).
The senators are James Orengo (Siaya) and Johnstone Muthama (Machakos).  Uhuru was making his second State of the Nation address (the other one was a special sitting on ICC) to Parliament. He said he had received a report from the EACC containing a raft of allegations of high-level corruption touching on all arms and levels of government.
“It is the view of the CEO of the Ethics and Anti Corruption Commission that the institution and especially its Secretariat are under siege because of the nature of the cases they are currently investigating,” said Uhuru.
He urged Parliament to deal with it expeditiously, noting that he had taken the extra-ordinary step of attaching the confidential report from the CEO of the EACC  as an annex to his Annual Report on Values to Parliament.
“Consequently, I hereby direct that all officials of the National and County governments that are adversely mentioned in this report, whether you are a Cabinet Secretary, Principal Secretary, or Chief Executive of a State institution, to immediately step aside pending conclusion of the investigations of the allegations against them.
I expect the other arms of government, namely the Legislature and the Judiciary, to do the same,” said Uhuru. “In view of the oath of office that I took as the President of this republic, let it be known that today I draw the line. No one will stand between Kenyans and what is right in the fight against corruption and other monstrous economic crimes,” he said.
The President said EACC must ensure that the Director of Public Prosecutions receives the subject files without delay and that the exercise is concluded within the next 60 days. “I also want to caution that this should not be an open-ended process, justice must be expeditious, as justice delayed is justice denied.
Therefore, this exercise should be concluded within the next 60 days,” said Uhuru. “Let me reiterate that it is not my place to determine the guilt or otherwise of any of the people mentioned in the said report or any other. However, the time has come to send a strong signal to the country that my administration will accept nothing less than the highest standard of integrity from those that hold high office,” he said.
The President further stated that Kenyans were feeling betrayed by rampant corruption. “When our Treasury was processing our first sovereign bond, this country was forced to settle a foreign court judgement to pay shadowy entities Sh1.4 billion.
When I addressed the nation on this matter, I pledged that my government would do everything in its power to ensure that we recover all that was due to the Republic. From that moment, I took a personal interest and asked to be briefed on a regular basis on the progress on Anglo Leasing related investigations.
My administration also supported the investigating authorities in obtaining support from a number of friendly foreign governments,” he said. The president said he had asked the Attorney General to liaise with the Council on Administration of Justice to focus on coordination within the Justice, Law and Order sector.
“The Council must ensure the efficient and speedy processing of corruption-related cases, including hearing such cases on a daily basis.” Uhuru directed the Attorney General to review the legislative and policy framework to ensure the effective discharge of Constitutional imperatives related to integrity.