MPs summon Uhuru over De La Rue contracts

March 9, 2012
MPs question money printing deal given to De La Rue/FILE

, NAIROBI, Kenya Mar 09- The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) has summoned Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta to appear before it and answer questions pertaining to the De La Rue contracts.

PAC Chairman Boni Khalwale directed that the former Finance Minister accompany, acting Finance Minister Njeru Githae to the next meeting on March 19.

He said the matter had along trail and has been handled by former Finance ministers David Mwiraria and Amos Kimunya.

“It is true that negotiations are on going between the government of Kenya and De La Rue on the purchase of shares in that company, I have no problem because that same information even before the transaction is concluded is supposed to be presented to the relevant parliamentary committee for their approval before they progress,” he said.

Before he resigned as Finance Minister (after the ICC indicted him and 3 others on crimes against humanity charges), Kenyatta had told the committee sitting held in November 2011, of his willing to appear before it to explain the relation between three companies linked to De La Rue.

“Because of that it might be useful that Githae request Kenyatta to accompany him to that meeting.”

Treasury PS Joseph Kinyua who had led a team from the ministry committed to deliver the message to his minister.

Kinangop MP David Ngugi said that they are committed to entangle allegations that the government had entered into a deal with a company which does not hold any assets.

“When they come on that day, they should come prepared to explain to the Committee this matter of three companies related to De La Rue; the one in Switzerland, the one here, the one that owes the land, the one that is printing,” he said.

The PAC was forced to adjourn its sittings on Friday as the acting Finance Minister failed to appear before it to explain where and which company was awarded the contract.

The Committee is probing why the Cabinet made De La Rue the exclusive currency printing company in Kenya after entering a deal that gave the government 40 percent ownership of the company without seeking parliamentary approval.

They are also looking into circumstances regarding cancellation of De La Rue’s ten year contract to print Kenya’s currency.

During the November sitting, the government admitted that it is involved in negotiations with money printing firm De La Rue Kenya with view to buying it.

Kenyatta flatly denied being aware of any contract given to De La Rue or any other company to print Kenya’s currency.

He said Kenyan currency is not being printed at the moment because there is enough stock of it.

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