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Wetangula scoffs at those against his return

NAIROBI, Kenya, Sept 11- Foreign Affairs Minister Moses Wetangula on Sunday vowed to remain in office despite the raging controversy over his reappointment.

The Minister who was reinstated last month in a Cabinet reshuffle without clearance from the anti-graft body said he was comfortable and insisted that his conscience was clear.

The Parliamentary Committee on Defence and Foreign Relations is opposed to his reinstatement arguing that the committee as well as the Kenya Anti Corruption Commission (KACC) was still probing him over the Sh1.1 billion Japanese embassy scandal. The Comptroller and Auditor General has also questioned the reappointment despite the loss of taxpayers money.

“My mind and my conscience have never lacked clarity at all and I think am not clouded in any way about what I am talking about,” the Minister told a media conference in Nairobi.

The committee wants Mr Wetangula and his Permanent Secretary Thuita Mwangi barred from holding office until they are cleared.

“I am not aware of any controversy and I am not hampered in my duties in any way, I wouldn’t be here with you if I was uncomfortable,” Mr Wetangula said.

The MPs mainly allied to PNU and the so-called G7 alliance want Mr Wetangula barred from transacting any business in Parliament until he is cleared by the committee and KACC.

Prime Minister Raila Odinga was expected to issue a statement over the controversial return of the Minister last Thursday but he skipped Parliament.

Through a statement sent to House Speaker Kenneth Marende, the PM said he could not attend the afternoon session as he had to attend to other government business.

Mr Marende however directed the PM to issue the statement on Tuesday, but the House later adjourned for a month long break.

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The House Speaker argued that the matter had raised a lot of public interest and there was need to clarify and quell concerns raised regarding the reappointment.

“The House does not put any business on the Order Paper, particularly government business, unless the government says it is ready to transact that business. So for us to put that on the order paper, we must have received information from the Prime Minister that he would be ready to give the statement today,” he argued.

“So there is no excuse for him not to issue the statement next Tuesday,” he said.


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