, NAIROBI, Kenya, Sept 4 – The Cabinet and members of the backbench on Tuesday ganged up to throw out a report by the Parliamentary Accounts Committee which recommended the sacking of Cabinet Minister Amos Kimunya and CBK Governor Njuguna Ndung’u.
The report involved a controversial multi-billion shilling currency printing deal.
MPs pointed out several discrepancies in the report with Nominated MP Rachael Shebesh moving the all important amendment, which expunged the two names from the report and cleared them of any wrongdoing.
“When you see the name Anyang’ Nyong’o and the name Kimunya you have to investigate the political intrigues behind them,” the nominated MP Shebesh said.
“These intrigues will continue. Let Amos Kimunya go home because the EACC (Ethics and Anti Corruption Commission) has said; but let it not be that if you cannot deal with Kimunya politically, then you kick him out of office through this House,” Shebesh argued.
She claimed the committee was being used to settle political scores.
She said the PAC’s recommendation barring the two from holding public office negates another recommendation that called for further investigation by the anti corruption body claiming that such a move went against the Leadership and Integrity Act.
Cabinet Minister Dalmas Otieno and MPs Manson Nyamweya, Amina Abdallah and Abdikadir Mohammed supported the amendment saying the minister and Central Bank of Kenya governor should not be victimised for mistakes made by the Cabinet.
“You’re treating it as if it was an actual loss, yet it is a computed loss. You’re claiming there’s a loss when there was no loss,” said the Public Service Minister.
Abdallah who seconded the amendment said that Ndung’u was collateral damage because of politics.
“Kimunya is a very unpopular member of this House. He’s an extremely rigid member of this House. He’s my friend but he’s very unpopular and difficult individual. When you lump an issue with the name of Amos Kimunya it becomes very easy to sell in this House,” said Abdallah.
“When you have other issues clouding a report, it’s so easy to lump perception with the actual issues. I don’t know if he’s innocent; I’ll only know that after the EACC has concluded its job,” Abdallah explained.
In conceding the outcome, PAC chairman Boni Khalwale stuck to the committee’s finding that said the country had lost Sh1.8 billion in the deal.
There was a twist during the debate after Bura MP Abdi Nuh claimed that his file regarding the controversy was lost within Parliament. Nuh said he had done calculations and that: “Kenyans must know that money was lost” and even the Auditor General was convinced of the loss.
“History will judge us right,” said Nuh.
In his defence, Kimunya had earlier argued his innocence stating that no money had been lost in the deal and instead accused the committee members of holding a personal grudge against him.
“Had the Auditor General looked at all this information, and at the Cabinet papers, which contain all the information; then he’d not have given the impression, that triggered the committee to make those recommendations,” Kimunya said in his defence.