NAIROBI, August 8 – Division within the Parliamentary Committee on Administration, National Security and Local Authorities emerged Friday when two members revealed that they had not agreed to clear Immigration Minister Otieno Kajwang’ of corruption allegations in the issuance of work and entry permits.
Kikuyu Member of Parliament (MP) Lewis Nguyai and Molo’s Joseph Kiuna told journalists that the 11-member Committee investigating alleged corruption at the Immigration Ministry found sufficient evidence not to absolve Kajwang’ of corruption allegations.
Nguyai informed that they had gone through 13 files and all showed that that the minister acted contrary to Kenyan laws.
“If Kajwang’ acts contrary to the laws and we say he has been absolved there will be a lot of questions and I will leave those who feel that conclusion is correct to answer those questions in Parliament,” the Kikuyu MP stated.
In a report tabled in Parliament by the Committee Chairman Fred Kapondi on Thursday, the Immigration Minister had been cleared of any wrong doing in approving entry/work permits since taking office.
The committee’s report stated that Kajwang’ acted within powers vested on him by the Immigration Act, which gives the minister discretion to grant or reject appeals. It found that the powers given are final and cannot be challenged in a court of law.
The committee faulted the Act for failing to state the number of foreigners who should be granted citizenship and proposed that it should be amended to block future ministers from using those powers arbitrarily, to naturalise non-Kenyans.
Addressing a press conference at Parliament Buildings, Nguyai said it was now up to Parliament to study their report and make a conclusion.
He stated; “The Chairman will move a motion for the report to be discussed in the House and the illegalities in the Minister’s actions will come up for debate.”
With Parliament on a two-month recess, the report will have to be discussed when the House resumes in October.
The Administration and Local Authorities committee launched investigations following allegations of rampant corruption at the Immigration Ministry.
Reports had indicated that an unusual number of foreigners had either been granted citizenship, entry permits or work documents in a short period since the Grand Coalition Government was formed.
In the 17-page report, the Parliamentary committee indicted the Immigration Director and recommended that he be investigated for failing to focus on the overall administration of the department.
It further called for his redeployment to allow independent investigations.
The committee also recommended that the National Security Intelligence Service be investigated for clearing foreigners with fake papers and in the process undermining the security of the State.