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Kimunya triumphs in Parliament

NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 29 – Parliament has thrown out a report by a parliamentary committee that indicted former Finance Minister Amos Kimunya over his role in the sale of the Grand Regency Hotel.

Members of Parliament (MPs) rejected the report by the Finance and Trade Committee chaired by Nambale MP Chris Okemo that said Mr Kimunya was unfit to hold public office.

“The Ayes 63 and the Nays 32, absentee’s nil, so the Ayes have it,” announced temporary speaker Margaret Kamar.

The MPs had earlier voted to expunge a clause in the report that censured the recently appointed Trade Minister over his role in the disposal of the hotel to a Libyan company when he was Finance minister.

Earlier, National Assembly Speaker Kenneth Marende said the re-appointment of the embattled Kipipiri MP into cabinet was within the constitution.

“The appointment of Cabinet ministers is a prerogative of the President and the appointment of Kimunya as Trade Minister stands,” he said.

Mr Marende however said a vote of no confidence passed against him over his involvement in the sale of Grand Regency, now Laico Regency,  still stands.

“The motion passed by this House on July 2, 2008 censuring Mr Kimunya remains in effect,” he ruled.

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President Kibaki re-appointed Kimunya last Friday, six months after he resigned from the cabinet following the sale of the public asset.

The report by the Parliamentary Committee on Finance accused Mr Kimunya of misleading Parliament that the hotel was not being sold.

The report recommended that Mr Kimunya was unfit to be a Cabinet minister and advised President Kibaki not to reappoint him to the Cabinet.


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