MP under probe over Tullow protests, tender interests

October 30, 2013 5:05 pm
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According to Interior Cabinet Secretary Joseph ole Lenku, the legislator led a group of 400 protestors to the Twiga 1 Oil drilling camp and when they were barred they forced their way in/FILE
According to Interior Cabinet Secretary Joseph ole Lenku, the legislator led a group of 400 protestors to the Twiga 1 Oil drilling camp and when they were barred they forced their way in/FILE
NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 30 – Turkana South Member of the National Assembly James Lomenen is under investigation for allegedly inciting locals to storm an exploration facility run by Tullow Oil Company.

According to Interior Cabinet Secretary Joseph ole Lenku, the legislator led a group of 400 protestors to the Twiga 1 Oil drilling camp and when they were barred they forced their way in.

“On October 26 at around 10am, the Turkana South Member of Parliament led a group which stormed the Twiga 1 Oil drilling camp in Turkana County. When the oil camp security prevented them from entering, the MP and demonstrators brought down the fence and gained entry,” he explained.

In a statement to newsrooms, the Interior Secretary alleged that the group engaged in looting and destruction of property at the camp.

Lenku explained, “Whereas leaders have a right to champion the interests of their communities, they should not do this in a manner that breaks the law and incites the public to do so.”

He adds that Lomenen was demonstrating against the alleged discrimination by Tullow Oil in their employment policy but the accusations lack basis.

“Statistics show that Tullow Oil has a workforce of about 1,400 and out of these, 800 employees are from Turkana County. This translates into 57.1 percent therefore the accusations are untrue,” explained Lenku in his statement.

He accused the legislator of inciting the public to push a personal business agenda.

“The government is investigating allegations that the Turkana South MP, Hon James Lomenen has vested interests in tenders coming from Tullow Oil Company.”

He notes that if Lomenen is found guilty he will be charged in accordance with the law.

“If these allegations are found to be true, he will be charged in accordance with the Chapter 6 of the Constitution dealing with Leadership and Integrity. The section strongly prohibits leaders from misusing their communities to push personal business agenda,” he added.

Commenting on another security related incident, Lenku noted that a feud at the Maralal Police Station had seen the death of a student and three officers.

The Interior Secretary added that the perpetrators made away with 23 cows from the police station which was evidence of a livestock theft case.

The attacks ended up in intercommunity wars between the Turkana and the Samburu.

Lenku promised that security has been beefed up in the area through the setting up of more police posts and deployment of officers.

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