Thursday, 28 February 2013

Foreign Affairs PS Thuita Mwangi seized

Posted  Thursday, February 28  2013 at  00:30

Foreign Affairs PS Thuita Mwangi was on Wednesday night taken into custody by anti-corruption agency detectives.Mr Mwangi was picked up from his office on Harambee Avenue and taken to Integrity Centre for questioning over claims of abuse of office.Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission vice-chairperson Irene Keino said Mr Mwangi will be charged with four counts of abuse of office relating to the Tokyo Embassy scandal and other issues in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Charged this morning
She said last night Mr Mwangi would answer charges of conspiracy to commit corruption, wilful failure to comply with the law and applicable procedures relating to procurement.The EACC alleges that Mr Mwangi, deputy director of administration Anthony Muchiri, and Mr Allan Mburu, the Charge d’Affaires at the Kenyan Embassy in Tokyo at the time the scandal erupted two years ago, would be charged this morning with making decisions outside their mandate.It was not immediately clear what other allegations the officials face besides the alleged illegal procurement of the Tokyo embassy, but sources told the Nation the EACC has been conducting investigations into the ministry’s expenditure.Mr Mwangi, sources said, would spend the night at Integrity Centre but would be allowed to speak to his lawyer.
The other officials could not be traced last night, but the detectives were reportedly targeting more officials who have been working at the ministry for the last four years.The Sunday Nation first broke the Tokyo embassy scandal story in 2010 after investigations revealed that officials allegedly chose to buy the property from a private seller instead of the Japanese government which had offered a lower price.A Parliamentary Committee discovered that there had been two agreements on the purchase of the Tokyo land, one purportedly signed by Mr Mwangi and another by Mr Mburu.Mr Adan Keynan, the chairman of the committee at the time, asserted that Mr Mburu did not have the authority to sign an agreement on behalf of the Kenya government.
Mr Mwangi and then Foreign Affairs Minister Moses Wetang’ula stepped but were later reinstated before investigations were completed. Mr Wetang’ula later moved to the Trade Ministry.MPs questioned the move to reinstate Mr Wetang’ula and Mr Mwangi before they were fully cleared in the matter.In 2011, anti-corruption agency detectives flew to Japan and re-opened the investigations.The detectives secured documents from the Japanese government indicating how the ministry might have flouted procurement rules.But the investigations might have been weakened by the dissolution of the then Kenya Anti-Corruption Commission led by Prof Patrick Lumumba.

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