, NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 7 – Prime Minister Raila Odinga says he has no personal vendetta on Education Minister Sam Ongeri by calling on him to step aside to allow investigations into the multi million shillings free education funds scam.
Mr Odinga maintains that credible investigations into the funds can only be carried out if and when Prof Ongeri and Permanent Secretary Karega Mutahi step aside.
Mr Odinga, who has requested President Mwai Kibaki to ask the two to resign dismissed his critics saying his request was not a sacking call neither was it personal as was implied. He said his request was "in accordance with the proper and accepted best practices."
"What he asked for is that the two officials should step aside or be asked to do so to allow for investigations that have the full confidence of the public and whose results the public would readily respect," said the PM through his Spokesman Dennis Onyango.
Hours after Mr Odinga made the comments at an anti-graft seminar for senior government officers, Prof Ongeri fiercely fought the PM\’s call terming it a personal attack and witch hunt. He maintained that he would not resign as no report had linked him to any corrupt practices.
"The PM is also aware that the Minister and the PS may well be innocent in the entire saga," Mr Onyango reiterated.
Prof Mutahi who was present during the Friday seminar remained mum over the matter only giving a "no comment" response when prodded by journalists.
Over Sh100 million is said to have been misappropriated in capacity building programs while text books worth over Sh1.4 billion are also uncounted for. The Kenya Anti Corruption Commission is currently undertaking investigations over the matter.
"Stepping aside and allowing investigations to go on and then getting reinstated when found to be clean would make the minister a living example of integrity in our politics and take away the burden of suspicion currently hanging over him and the Ministry," said the PM.