Kenya civil society wants Mudavadi out

March 10, 2010 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 10 – A section of MPs and civil society organisations on Wednesday urged the President and the Prime Minister to take action against Deputy Prime Minister Musalia Mudavadi and Nairobi Mayor Geoffrey Majiwa over their alleged involvement in the controversial purchase of a cemetery land scandal.

Parliamentary Accounts Committee Chairman Bonny Khalwale and Kinangop MP David Ngugi said Mr Mudavadi should step aside for failing to stop the graft.

The Ikolomani MP called on the PM to suspend Mr Mudavadi as he did Agriculture Minister William Ruto and education minister Sam Ongeri following graft claims.

“The reason for suspending Mr Mudavadi outweigh that of other ministry, because he holds a ministry that wields executive powers. Since that nothing can happen in your ministry before you are notified by whoever is making the decision,” he said.

Elsewhere, activist Okoiti Omtatah said the two had been adversely mentioned by three public reports over the deal and must step aside to facilitate credible and independent investigations.

He said the President was limited in action given that Mr Majiwa is an elected councillor and his election as Mayor cannot be revoked as would be the case with a nominated councillor and that while Mr Mudavadi came from the ODM wing of government Mr Omtatah called for their immediate resignation.

“The President should immediately and publicly ask the two to step aside. Failure to do so will reinforce the emerging trend that the Kibaki administration applies double standards allowing politicians to be immune to the rule of law while punishing the civil servants.”

Mr Mudavadi has protested his innocence saying KACC was being unfair by accusing him without giving him a chance to be heard.

The scam has seen Local Government PS Sammy Kirui and 12 other senior government officials interdicted in connection with the fraudulent purchase of 120 acres for a cemetery in Mavoko Township at a cost of Sh283 million when the true value of the plot was Sh30 million.

The action followed the tabling of a report by the Parliamentary Select Committee on Local Authorities on the purchase of the land.

The report which is waiting debate in Parliament showed that City Hall ignored the advice of the Director of City Planning on tender documents during the search for the cemetery land.

It said the City Council’s procurement team played a key role in the fraud. The team is said to have ignored regulations in the Procurement Act. The council’s technical evaluation committee also ignored the criteria set for cemetery land. It went further to clear the land as suitable when it knew it was not.

President Kibaki also directed that Sh259 million fraudulently paid out for the plot be recovered from the beneficiaries.


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