NAIROBI, Kenya, Jun 3 – Former Town Clerk John Gakuo has said he had no role to play in the dubious purchase of cemetery land for Sh283 million in Mavoko three years ago.
Answering questions from members of the Nairobi County Assembly Committee on Appointments, Gakuo said he was not to blame for the scam as the determination whether the land was viable for purchase was the sole responsibility of the technical committee of the City Council of Nairobi, of which he was not a member.
The committee was vetting Gakuo for his suitability to serve in Governor Evans Kidero’s County Executive Committee in charge of the Water Energy, Environment and Natural Resources docket.
The former Town Clerk said that the technical team forwarded its recommendations to the tender committee whose decision to continue with the process could only be nullified by the Procurements Oversight Authority.
“It is only the technical committee which was empowered by the law to determine whether the land was good or not. No other person or committee can do so. Once it has determined that it is viable, it forwards its recommendations to the tender committee,” he said.
He indicated that he was in no position to make any kind of decision on the issue.
“According to the law, it is only the tender committee which can nullify the technical committees (decisions) and nobody else including me,” he said.
During his vetting, Gakuo further dismissed as a ‘myth’ claims that he dealt arrogantly with his staff and other stakeholders during his tenure at City Hall.
“I do not think I was ever arrogant to anybody to the best of my knowledge. If I was ever arrogant to anybody, I ask for forgiveness because I do not remember anybody coming to my office and telling me that I am arrogant,” he stated.
He said that his development record spoke for itself and that given a chance, he will do a better job in the docket he has been given.
“I am wiser now than I was about 35 years ago. The value of that wisdom to the people is more precious than my youthful years when I was down there so that experience is very important and particularly now,” he said.
He explained that his experience at City Hall will enable him discharge his duties effectively.