Kenyan MPs demand graft report

June 23, 2010 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jun 23 – National Assembly Speaker Kenneth Marende on Tuesday directed the government to furnish the House with the Kenya Anti Corruption Commission report on the maize and free education scandal that exonerated suspended Permanent Secretaries by next Wednesday.

Mr Marende made the ruling after Internal Security Minister George Saitoti failed to specify whether the anti graft body had released the report.

"The minister must table the full report, so that members have the benefit of perusing that report against the answers that you have given," he said.

Prof Saitoti had told Parliament that the officials have been cleared by the Kenya Anti Corruption Commission.

The Internal Security Minister who making the statement to the House on behalf of Prime Minister Raila Odinga said the importation of subsidised maize was done according to the law and there are no criminal charges linked to the reinstated permanently secretaries.

He said the reinstatement was based on a letter from KACC acting Director John Mutonyi to the Head of Civil Service.

MPs led by Ikolomani’s Bonny Khalwale took him to task over the statement, claiming the Attorney General had not been involved in the matter.

"Why should the government be side-stepping the Office of the AG, when the matter is hot? The House will remember that during the Cockar Commission Report on the matter of corruption by the then Minister of Finance, the report was never taken to the AG. All we found is that the government had brought back the minister under a different portfolio," he said.

Meanwhile, The Speaker was forced to make a ruling allowing Prof Saitoti to make the statement after MPs raised objections saying that the PM was acting against the Parliamentary Standing Orders which provides for his weekly question time slot.

MPs Bonny Khalwale, Charles Kilonzo and Danson Mungatana wanted Mr Marende to declare Mr Odinga, who was in the chamber, out of order. They argued that the question was touching on several ministries which the Internal Security Minister may not able to address adequately.

They cited the Standing Orders saying that only the Deputy Prime Ministers can be delegated to address the House during the weekly slot.

However, Mr Marende used his discretion and allowed Prof Saitoti to make the statement.


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