Kenyan lobbyists demand more graft blood

February 17, 2010 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 17 – A group of civil society campaigners who held a peaceful demonstration in Nairobi on Wednesday have petitioned President Mwai Kibaki to suspend four more Ministers and also order two suspended by the Prime Minister on Sunday to vacate office.

The group led by activist Okiya Omtatah of the Kenya Peace for Justice are accusing the six ministers of failing to discharge their duties effectively hence the need to have them investigated.

“We welcome the recent suspension of senior civil servants and two Ministers Prof Sam Ongeri and William Ruto,” part of the petition read.

“We now call upon your Excellency to use State machinery to ensure two suspended Ministers do not continue to occupy their ministerial offices.”

After demonstrating from the Freedom Corner on Uhuru Park, through Kenyatta Avenue to Harambee House, they handed their petition to a Director of Administration at the Office of the President before they dispersed, a break from previous demonstrations which usually end up with chaos.

In the petition titled ‘Displeasure at Your Management of State Affairs’, the activists gave President Kibaki seven days to suspend Ministers Naomi Shaban (Special Programs), Kiraitu Murungi (Energy), Prof George Saitoti (Internal Security) and Otieno Kajwang (Immigration) to pave way for independent audits in the respective ministries while others like Prof Saitoti was being accused of being inefficient.

The petitioners said Ms Shaban should step aside “for the loss of money meant for the resettlement of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) and for the theft of strategic maize reserves that resulted in the starvation and deaths of many Kenyans.”

They said there was also need to institute an independent investigation at the Ministry of Energy over the Triton Oil saga and at the Immigration Ministry where they accused officials there of issuing work permits and registering persons as citizens without following the due process.

They also called for the resignation of Ambassador Bethuel Kiplagat as chairman of the Truth, Justice and Reconciliation Commission (TJRC) over what they termed as his ‘compromised past.’

“Until the above demands are met, we will mobilise peaceful marches and rallies across the Republic to demand competent management of our beloved country,” Mr Omtatah said.

The petition was also copied to the National Assembly Speaker Kenneth Marende and Chief Justice Evan Gicheru.

They carried placards that read “Step Up the War Against Corruption, Suspend More Ministers, Kibaki Get More Serious on Corruption” among others.

Central Divisional Police Chief Richard Muguai told Capital News that the demonstrators had followed due process of the law in applying for the permit to hold the protests.

“We licenced the group because it followed due process. There was no reason to deny them that permission because they did not pose any danger to the security of the city and we are happy it has ended up peacefully,” he said.

Mr Muguai said he had ordered another group of demonstrators who had earlier notified them of their intention to demonstrate not to go to the streets “because they notified us too late.”

Earlier before the peaceful demonstration held on Wednesday, police confiscated some placards from another group which wanted to hold a demonstration from Uhuru Park.


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