MPs issue ultimatum to spy chief

March 28, 2012 4:30 pm


Cabinet Commitee on ICC appear before Parlimentary Committee/MIKE KARIUKI
NAIROBI, Kenya Mar 28 – The parliamentary Committee on Defence and Foreign Relations is demanding that NSIS Director General Michael Gichangi must appear before it over Britain’s alleged dossier on the ICC.

Committee chairman Adan Keynan said they had issued fresh summons to the National Security Intelligence Service chief after he failed to appear before them for the second time.

“I want this message to go to that very important entity… that entity is not operating in isolation. It’s an agency of the people of Kenya, fully funded by the taxpayers and therefore the message is they must appear before this committee. There is no shortcut!” he said.

“No one will be allowed to operate outside the current existing constitutional framework. Not under our watch.”

Gichangi had been directed to appear before the committee on Wednesday “without fail.”

Gichangi instead wrote to the House team explaining that he was consulting the spy agency’s legal team whether to appear or not.

“The one (letter) of today asks for more time to consult with the lawyers on certain issues. We have our counsels here (within Parliament) who will look at it so that they can be fair to the process,” he said.

At the same time, the committee which is investigating documents tabled in Parliament alleging that Britain was manipulating the ongoing ICC process said it plans to hear testimonies from President Mwai Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga.

The Speaker of the National Assembly Kenneth Marende and Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta have also been mentioned in the documents.

Keynan said that they plan to seek audience everyone who has been mentioned adversely in connection with the documents tabled in the House by MPs Charles Kilonzo and Aden Duale.

He reminded MPs and ministers how the late Elijah Mwangale-led Parliamentary Select Committee which probed the murder of Nyandarua MP JM Kariuki in 1975 at one point walked from Parliament to State House, Nairobi where they got audience with the late President Jomo Kenyatta.

“We have looked at every aspect, we will look at it holistically and seeking audience with the Head of State and the PM at an opportune time so that we can also get their perspective,” he said.

This came as MPs in the committee claimed that the Executive was reluctant to share information with Parliament on the matter which they say has been in the public domain for more than two weeks.

Internal Security Minister George Saitoti who appeared before the committee as a member of the Cabinet Committee on ICC matters refuted the claims and asked for time to allow police to finish investigations into the matter.

“There appears to be a misconception as though we are trivialising this issue. That is far from the truth… we understand the gravity of this statement. There will come a time when it will have to be pronounced whether it is genuine or not,” Saitoti stated.

Saitoti was accompanied by Cabinet colleagues Otieno Kajwang and Amason Kingi who also sit in the Cabinet Committee.

He added; “We feel like you have been pushing us to come out with information which we already do not have, because this matter is under investigation.”

Newly appointed Foreign Affairs Minister Sam Ongeri also appeared before the committee, and said that the diplomatic relationship between Kenya and its former colonial master were very cordial despite the issue which is currently being probed by the police.

He said the British government had written a ‘Note Verbale’ (a diplomatic communication prepared in the third person and unsigned) through its mission in Kenya, denying ownership of the document. They cited a ‘plethora of spelling mistakes” as of the reasons the document does not belong to the Queen’s government.

Ongeri said the diplomatic communication also denied that there was a plot for an Odinga Presidency. He however appealed for two weeks to facilitate for the completion of investigations.

“I will stand advised on the authenticity of the document which was tabled in Parliament by the ongoing investigations. But as it stands Ministry of Foreign Affairs, does not have capacity to conduct forensic audit,” he explained.

Police Commissioner Matthew Iteere told the House team on Tuesday that police are likely to conclude their investigations by April 10.


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