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Citizen Weekly

Wednesday, 1 April 2015

THREE STATE AGENTS LINKED TO SCHEME TO FORCE OUT EACC OFFICIALS FROM OFFICE



Kenya: Details have emerged of how the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission ( EACC) officials Jane Onsongo and Irene Keino were intimidated to resign from office and promised ambassadorial jobs by State officials. Ms Keino yesterday revealed how she and Prof Onsongo were summoned to the State Law Office and asked to resign. Although she did not mention those behind the intimidation, sources revealed Solicitor General Njee Muturi, President Uhuru Kenyatta's adviser Abdikadir Mohamed and Ainabkoi MP Samuel Chepkonga, who is the chair of the National Assembly Committee on Justice and Legal Affairs, were behind the scheme. Keino spoke yesterday during a Press conference together with EACC chairman Mumo Matemu and EACC Chief Executive Officer Halakhe Waqo. Prof Onsongo announced her resignation on Tuesday during a Press conference at the State Law Office reportedly called by a State operative. She told confidants that she was promised a job as deputy ambassador to the US or Germany. See also: Ruto defends self against wealth claims "I quit because it was meaningless to stay in there," she told The Standard later on. Keino revealed yesterday she was called for a meeting at around 11.30am on Tuesday. "I asked about the agenda of the meeting and was told that Prof Onsongo had agreed to resign. I was also requested to resign and be given a new job as deputy ambassador to Brazil, which I flatly declined," she said at a Press conference yesterday. "I wish to state that I shall not resign and those persons seeking my resignation through unconstitutional means should stop," she said, adding that she fears for her safety. This happened before a probe meeting where the three were to appear before the Chepkonga team to answer to allegations of breach of Constitution and misconduct. The meeting was adjourned to today, with sources saying the commissioners will demand that Chepkonga does not chair it because of his involvement in the Tuesday drama. Chepkonga said he will not attend the meeting because he comes from Keino's home area and is known to the family.
Matemu too said yesterday there have been attempts to force them to resign but vowed to stay put. He added some powerful forces in the Government are behind the wars at the commission. Yesterday, Keino said there was a brazen attempt to force her resignation and disbandment of the commission by a clique, which is a clear subversion of the Constitution. She said the Anglo Leasing scandal, Karen land saga, issue of the Integrity Centre and its relationship with the Deposit Protection Fund Board, Geothermal Development Company and Mumias Sugar probe were part of the reasons behind attempts to disband the commission. Keino said attempts to interfere with the commission should stops forthwith and declared she would continue to discharge her obligations and duties without fear or favour. "This is a constitutional commission that reports to Parliament and we have so reported through the annual report. The corruption list tabled in Parliament will be implemented and we, as commissioners, commit to ensure the timelines are met," she said. See also: Ruto defends self against wealth claims The commission now has two commissioners. Matemu, Keino and Waqo said they are yet to receive Prof Onsongo's letter of resignation. Sources said Onsongo and Keino were summoned to the State Law Office where they were initially told that there were instructions from "above" for them to resign on grounds that the public does not have confidence in them. But the commissioners declined to pen their signatures on papers they had been offered. The discussions degenerated to drama after the the State agents resorted to place the two commissioners in different rooms in a bid to convince each separately to quit, officials said. However, Keino stormed the room where Onsongo had been placed and asked her not to relent and later led her out of the room to their cars with their bodyguards. They drove to EACC offices where, according to witnesses, Onsongo looked worried and kept weeping.