NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 30 – Jubilee Members of Parliament walked out on National Treasury Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich and his Principal Secretary on Wednesday, as an attempt to lobby them to back the Sh1.4 billion Anglo Leasing payment backfired.
Rotich and his team were meeting the legislators at a Nairobi hotel as they attempted to press them to approve the payment in Parliament. The argument made is that the country’s assets may be auctioned if the payment is not made.
The MPs came out chanting “can’t pay, won’t pay!” saying they would not be used as a rubber stamp by the Executive to promote corruption.
“Without the total disclosure we can’t pay, won’t pay… we don’t want to be used by the Executive as a rubber stamp issues,” one of the MPs said.
“If they want to pay, let them go ahead…we will meet ahead,” Nairobi Women Representative Rachael Shebesh added.
Mukurweini Member of Parliament Kabando wa Kabando said the decision was unanimous.
“They had their time in 2003 to 2007 while in 2008 to 2012 they went on retreat…we are telling the Executive, on this one can’t pay, won’t pay,” he stated.
The fiery MP added, “and for these mandarins who are so often used to using shortcuts by manipulating the Executive and ‘buying’ a few members to shout in rallies, we are telling them their time has come and they must go to political oblivion.”
“We have walked out on the Cabinet Secretary… we the members of the 11th Parliament particularly from Jubilee, shall not be manipulated neither in the name of the president nor in the name of the tyranny of numbers to deodorize corruption in this country.”
National Assembly Majority Leader Aden Duale was seen being driven out of the hotel but refused to address journalists who were camping outside.
The Treasury and Attorney General appeared to convince two House committees to approve the payment on Tuesday, but the final decision lay with the whole House on Wednesday afternoon.
On April 26, Deputy President William Ruto said that Parliament would have the final say on the way forward in settling bills for the dubious projects hatched in the last regime.
The Deputy President dismissed claims that the government planned to pay billions to the firms linked to Anglo-Leasing projects.
“We have not paid any single cent and we are not intending to part with any single coin in payment for dubious projects whose origin we don’t know about. We know there is a court ruling that the government pays Sh1.4 billion but we have said Parliament will have the final say on the matter,” said Ruto.
“As a government we believe that the only accountable and transparent way to resolve this matter is through Parliament which is a representative of Kenyan tax payers,” the Deputy President said.
He said the Government was committed to ensure transparency in the management of public affairs hence the decision to involve Parliament in handling the Anglo Leasing case.