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Citizen Weekly

Sunday, 15 March 2015

Shocking truth in EACC battles

Bribes, compromises, witch-hunt, nepotism, and tender deals are they key reasons behind the current wars at Ethics and Anti Corruption Commission, Weekly Citizen reveals.
Subsequently, three factions have emerged at EACC with one rotating around chairperson Mumo Matemu. The second camp is led by chief executive Halakhe Waqo and it enjoys the support of Commissioner Irene Keino. The third camp has the so-called neutrals.
It is against this backcloth that  the declaration last week by Matemu and Waqo that they have buried the hatchet is being taken with a shovel of salt. Insiders say bad blood still exists between the two with Waqo having on his side deputy chief executive officer Michael Mubea. Matemu had suspended Mubea but has since reinstated him due to pressure and fear he was set to be exposed.
Reports have it, Matemu is accused of operating a foreign bank account where millions of shillings are channelled by key players in the Anglo-Leasing scandal. Matemu however says that those linking him to the offshore accounts are probably confusing him with his nephew Joseph Matemu who is a lawyer in America and who could be operating such accounts. Matemu is also said to be pressing buttons to have Charterhouse Bank re-opened. The camps are said to share proceeds from embattled parastatal bosses, business tycoons and other parties who find themselves cornered manking it a case of you-say-me-I-say-you where everyone thus is safe.
Mubea had been suspended for 30 days pending investigations into allegations of malpractice but Waqo revoked the suspension on grounds that he was not consulted or the human resource department.
At EACC, Mubea and Waqo are accused of sitting on the file involving Tassia II Housing project involving National Social Security Fund and a Chinese construction firm. It is feared, the workers’ body is set to lose billions in the scam. The directorate of public prosecution has eagerly been waiting for recommendations whether positive or negative to be made public and to have the file closed if need be.
Using then NSSF chairman Adan Ahmed and leader of majority in parliament Adan Duale, a plot to block the Tassia project was hatched. It is open talk at EACC that two officials one Petronilla Kyengo and her husband benefited from two houses from NSSF to block investigations.
The payments of the houses were done in the price of the building EACC wanted to purchase from NSSF. Keino has also been implicated in a number of scams by her former driver. She is said to have used EACC vehicles for construction of a private housing project. She is one of those said to have penned a letter to Uhuru Kenyatta calling for removal of Matemu.
Keino’s closeness to Mubea is manifested in the controversial salary pay of Sh750,000 Mubea gets contrary to salary remuneration commission. His salary is set at Sh350,000 but Keino proposed a new salary structure for EACC staff.
Another bone of contention involves a deal between EACC and Mombasa tycoon Rashid Sajjad on recovery of land in Kizingo area. The manner in which the settlement was agreed left many legal loopholes. However Mubea and David Too in charge of legal services bulldozed the Sajjad saga to full completion. In the deal, Sajjad paid a token and EACC never recovered property worth Sh6m. Sajjad remained with public properties and is said to have oiled a section with offices at Integrity Centre.
Mubea is said to have been linked to a sexual offence at a city law firm where he worked. His appointment was brokered by Keino. It is said recruitment of staff at EACC is corrupt with tribalism, nepotism, and bribery being the core interview. Promotions and sackings are based on who you know and how powerful the person is. Sex for employment perfected by both male and female personalities also features.
Commissioners are also said to be involved in fight over case involving Rose Kuria once based at then Nairobi City Council as general manager. It has to do with a plot opposite Department of Defence headquarters. An officer fired investigators handling the case and had investigations halted.
At one time, Mubea brokered a deal where Mohammed Adan then NSSF chairman forced National Bank of Kenya to provide Sh40m house mortgage for Waqo. He used the money to purchase a house located near Bomas of Kenya. Given such happenings, no corruption case involving NSSF can be investigated properly and the culprits held to account.
At the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission, the story is the same. Top officials at EACC last year organised a trip to United Kingdom for reasons best known to them. They were well taken care of and when they came back, they were all smiles with bulging pockets.
The Anglo Leasing scam is all that is causing trouble. It has emerged using a one Jimmy Wanjigi  a tycoon linked to the key Asian players the Kamani’s, a section of commissioners have been compromised. The idea is to cause friction at the body and have it disbanded.
It is this disbandment fear that made the commission to hold marathon meetings last week and engage in a public gimmick. Word had leaked to them a scheme to have EAAC disbanded is being hatched.
To complicate matters is the construction of a new headquarters that commissioners want to make a killing using the project. Already the ownership of their current offices is set to land in courts. Nicholas Biwott claims to own the building.