Wednesday, 1 April 2015

Homabay Senator Moses Otieno Kajwang's take on Kenyatta EACC Report tabled in Parliament on 26.03.2015

I have reviewed the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) report on corruption that was annexed to the speech of HE The President during his State of the Nation address of 26th March.
The report contains, in the President’s own words, a “catalogue of accusations” of high level corruption in government. In Homa Bay County, HE Governor Cyprian Awiti is accused of making an irregular payment of Kshs. 200m in respect of the proposed Agro City Project.
My view on the EACC report is that it contains too many contradictions and the President should have interrogated them before making the report public.
For example, Nduva Muli is accused of “irregularly awarding the tender for the construction of the Standard Gauge Railway to China Bridges”. Yet this is the same project the President defended and declared was done above board.
It also has too many trivialities; one of the accusations against Senator Orengo is that he accepted free helicopter rides from the Madhvani family in Uganda in 2012.
It is also surprising that Senator Sonko is mentioned in irregularities touching on the Ministries of Lands and Energy, yet there is no direct case that EACC has opened against him.
I support the war on corruption, but this EACC report is not the best way of going about it. This is a dangerous report that will be used for political witch-hunting.
Those familiar with literature will remember Charles Dickens’ “A Tale of Two Cities” and the political witch hunt that followed the French Revolution. This EACC report can foment the pursuit of similar vendetta.
It is noteworthy that those who have so far stepped aside for 60 days expect that the cases against them will have been investigated, prosecuted and judged within this period. The reality is that these cases can take many years to wrap up and this will present the Head of State with a huge dilemma at the expiry of the 60 days. Either their goose is cooked, or else the President will reappoint them without having gone through the full judicial process.
With specific regard to Homa Bay, I have requested HE The Governor for the documents relating to the Agro City Project and I am pleased that I have already received some of the documents requested. I will encourage the County Assembly to interrogate the project and the allegations by EACC. Primary oversight is the role of the County Assembly.
It has also been reported in the media that I have differed with HE The Governor on the fight against corruption. The correct position is that we are on the same page.
At the interdenominational prayers in Homabay last Friday, I advised the Governor to get rid of County Executive members who participate in corruption. This was on the backdrop of the County Assembly report on corruption in the Kadongo Road Project. This is a formal report that was debated and passed by the Assembly and cannot therefore be dismissed as a rumour.
I also advised the Governor to consult more with local leaders and stakeholders before taking a decision on the Homa Bay market.
You do no need to be an old politician to understand the implications of the Kadongo Road and the Homa Bay market reports.
I am well aware of my role to defend devolution and to oversight the devolved units of government and I allow neither friendship nor political affiliation to compromise this mandate.

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