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Citizen Weekly

Wednesday, 15 April 2015

I CANNOT APOLOGISE, ABABU TELLS MPS




NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 16 – Former Public Accounts Committee Chairman Ababu Namwamba has been suspended from Parliament proceedings for four days after he refused to apologise for making graft allegations against fellow committee members.
Namwamba said he cannot retract the allegations because he was assisting the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission with investigations on the matter in which it is claimed suspended Defence Principal Secretary Mutea Iringo paid a bribe to Committee members to alter finding of a report on corruption in his former docket at the Interior Ministry.
“If indeed this House wishes to assist the EACC, in executing its constitutional mandate do not engage in any activities that will amount to interfering with its probe. Let it interrogate the information, that information includes what I have shared. For avoidance of doubt, I want to declare before you Madame Speaker, which I will not apologize for that information,” he said.
Namwamba, who chaired PAC before it was disbanded on recommendations by the Powers and Privileges Committee, had earlier apologised for breaking House regulations by making allegations against MPs outside Parliament.
Deputy Speaker Joyce Laboso reprimanded the Budalangi MP for going against the Speaker’s directive and made statements to the media while the house was probing the allegation.
Deputy Speaker Laboso who is presided over Wednesday morning’s sitting directed that Namwamba was required to explain “what game was going on by giving a letter to the Speaker and then withdrawing it.”
This is after the Budalangi MP had written to the Speaker requesting to be allowed to ‘stand aside’ from House and Committee sittings, which was taken to the Speaker’s office but recalled minutes later.
Namwamba had borne the brunt of corruption allegations. He had countered them by claiming that it was other members of the PAC who were corrupt and had been accusing him for refusing to play ball.
The ODM Secretary-General said he withdrew the letter because he was not a suspect on graft allegations but had been called by the Ethic and Anti-Corruption Commission as a witness.
Two other members Omondi Anyanga and James Bett were reprimanded and pardoned from House sanctions after they apologised for making the unsubstantiated allegations.
Nakuru Town West Samuel Arama was not reprimanded but was asked to tender an apology for speaking about parliamentary issues in the media. Arama said he was forced to set the record straight after his chairman (Namwamba) went ‘hopping around media houses talking about the tape.’
The National Assembly Majority and Minority Coalition Leaders now have until next Tuesday to pick new members who will replace the Namwamba-led team.