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Civil society demands sacking of Ongeri Kiyiapi

NAIROBI, Kenya, Jun 19 -The National Civil Society Congress (NCSC) on Sunday called on President Mwai Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga to sack Education Minister Prof Sam Ongeri and his Permanent Secretary Prof James Ole Kiyiapi over the loss of Sh4.2 billion meant from Free Primary Education kitty.

Speaking during a press briefing in Nairobi, the President of the Civil Society Congress Maurice Odhiambo urged the President to move with speed to ensure that the constitutional chapter on leadership and integrity is fully implemented.

“The two professors at the Ministry of Education have to be sacked, Ongeri should be should be made to take both political and criminal responsibility for the loss of money in a ministry he oversees on daily basis,” he said.

On Monday, the Treasury handed to the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) an audit report of the missing Sh4.2 billion with names of possible culprits involved in the scam.

The report has seen Kenya Anti-Corruption Commission (KACC) Director PLO Lumumba also call for the resignation of the Minister and his Permanent Secretary citing poor leadership that left loopholes for graft.

Mr Odhiambo further called on the Minister for Medical Services Prof Anyang Nyong’o, whom he termed as a ‘known reformer’, to step aside over the scam at the Kenya Medical Supplies Agency (KEMSA) that also saw loss of Sh 1.6 billion in erroneous billings by the agency.

“When the ministry he is in charge of is accused of a scandal he must speak as a champion of reforms, he must create the conditions necessary for investigations so that the public knows what is happening at Kenya Medical Supplies Agency”, he insisted.

The activists vowed that they would next week petition the two principals of the coalition government to ensure that the demand by the civil society is addressed failure to which they would organize protest marches in the city.

“Civil society is set for a relentless fight; if the President and the Prime Minister do not listen to our petition then we will resort to our most effective and tested mechanisms of asserting accountability which is to go to the streets,” he added. 

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He also called on stakeholders to ensure that the Public Finance Management Bill 2011 as proposed by the Treasury is reviewed to strengthen the tools of fighting corruption.

“The Bill as proposed has grave weaknesses that if passed into law will continue to be used as official sanction for facilitating corruption in the management of public finances,” he observed.

Among the things he felt should be checked are first the powers of the Finance Minister, which he proposes should be checked by Parliament. He also proposed that the Bill covers the management of public funds in the devolved units of government.

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