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Citizen Weekly

Wednesday 22 April 2015


Acrimony engulfed the National Assembly yesterday as 130 MPs against 52 voted to send home the chairman of the Ethics and Anti- Corruption Commission (EACC) Mumo Matemu and his deputy Irene Keino. The legislators also asked President Uhuru Kenyatta to set up a tribunal on the matter. Three MPs abstained from voting. The ownership of Integrity Centre, the headquarters of the EACC, the ongoing probe against top State officials over corruption allegations and the future of the Secretariat took centre-stage as MPs haggled on the fate of the commissioners and that of the Chief Executive Halakhe Waqo. The MPs also unmasked a prominent city lawyer Adan Ahmed as the owner of Integrity Centre. The debate at one point threatened to get out of hand and the Speaker Justin Muturi had to tell MPs that he would cut short the sitting for the frayed nerves to cool down, for the lawmakers to stop heckling and shouting down each other. 103 MPs against 72 voted to save Halakhe from being dismissed from the secretariat as had been proposed by TJ Kajwang' (Ruaraka). Kajwang' wanted the CEO kicked out because of the testimony before National Assembly's Justice and Legal Affairs Committee that had indicted him for persistent insubordination and because he 'acted like God' and did not allow commissioners to do anything without reverting to him. See also: Roysambu and Kabete CDF accounts frozen over misuse fears In its report, the Justice and Legal Affairs Committee looked at the report of the Commission on Administrative Justice and listened to the commissioners and the CEO and his deputy Michael Mubea and concluded that the commission as it is, is dysfunctional and was unlikely to fight corruption. "The problems at the commission are attributable to both the commissioners and the Secretariat and the two cannot work together," read the report adopted in the House. Anglo leasing Daniel Maanzo (Makueni) successfully asked the House to back his bid to have the EACC send in a report on the owners of Integrity Centre within 14 days. "If we close our eyes, the public will not close theirs. They will know that Integrity Centre is gone. It was gobbled up and given to an individual and his wife for a song and the depositors did not get any money," said Kajwang'. The push to investigate the owners of the Integrity Centre is being pinpointed as the source of the wrangles within the commission. Mithika Linturi (Igembe South) named Adan and his wife Azma as the owners of the building and questioned if the person who sent the petition to the House (Geoffrey Oriaro) was acting at the behest of the landlord.
"The petitioner is an employee of Adan and this Adan is the one that takes the rent. The petitioner being an employee of Adan may have been acting on his instructions. We have a role as MPs of the Eleventh Parliament to protect public assets," said Linturi. Peter Kaluma (Homa Bay Town) laid out the paperwork to show that a company in which Adan and his wife were the prime directors and shareholders –Watu Watu Limited— was the one that jointly with two other firms own the firm which is the landlord to the EACC headquarters. Kaluma, who sits in the Justice Committee noted that Matemu and Keino had told the committee that their woes began when they went for the Anglo Leasing files. In that investigation, the commissioners realised that their landlord had changed under dubious circumstances and that is why the committee saw it fit to find out if the landlord legally owned the prime building. Majority Leader Aden Duale mentioned CORD co-principal Moses Wetang'ula as a partner in the law firm with Adan, but Deputy Minority Whip Chris Wamalwa, who is a Ford Kenya member protested and insisted that the law was clear as to who were behind.

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