NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 28 – Cabinet Minister Amos Kimunya on Wednesday dismissed a report by the Parliamentary committee on Finance, Planning and Trade on the sale of the Grand Regency Hotel saying it lacked credibility and was only aimed at settling political scores.,
Speaking in Parliament during debate on the report, Mr Kimunya who ‘stepped aside’ as Finance Minister during a probe into the sale, said the document focused on what he told the committee rather than investigating the sale of the hotel – as was its mandate.
“The committee did not look at the sale of the hotel, it looked at what Mr Kimunya told the committee, the report has not addressed issues,” he said.
The newly appointed Trade Minister continued: “I am disappointed by the committee because it never shed light in the House on the sale of the hotel, this report is unsatisfactory.”
Mr Kimunya also said that the report did not give evidence of corruption, and therefore was incomplete and not up to Kenyans’ expectations.
He further accused the committee of carrying out the investigations with a view to tarnish his character.
“Is there evidence that there were traces of corruption? What was the point of investigating if there is no corruption?” he questioned.
Mr Kimunya also lashed out at the committee saying that despite having a list of many other people involved in the transaction, only two people were mentioned.
Nambale MP Chris Okemo, who chaired the committee, read out parts of the report in the House and said that the former Finance Minister should be reprimanded for his actions in the sale of the hotel.
However, Medical Services Assistant Minister Danson Mungatana asked the House to adopt the report since the sale of the hotel was a loss to the country.
He alleged that since its sale, 172 workers had been sacked and prices had tripled.
The Motion to adopt the report drew different reactions from MPs in support of and against Mr Kimunya. Due to time constraints, the Motion was not concluded.
Also in Parliament, Agriculture Minister William Ruto clashed with the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) Chairman Dr Bonny Khalwale on the cause of the maize shortage.
Mr Ruto took issue with claims that the maize had been sold to South Sudan, even after he had given a directive banning the exportation of maize.
The Minister also denied that he misled the House on the list of millers that he tabled and said that those found culpable in the Kenya Anti Corruption Commission probe would be held accountable.
Speaker Kenneth Marende was forced to interrupt the debate and defer it to next Wednesday, after Mr Ruto accused Dr Khalwale of acting with malice.
Mr Marende also ordered the Attorney General to bring particulars of the list of companies that Minister Ruto had presented to the House, following a request by North Imenti MP Gitobu Imanyara.
Dr Khalwale was also on the spot for purporting to speak on behalf of the PAC.