, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 25 – Nandi Hills Member of Parliament Alfred Keter on Sunday said the video showing him causing a scene at the Gilgil weighbridge on Saturday night, had been misunderstood.
Keter said he was not seeking to, “unduly influence public officers,” as had been stated by the Presidency, but was himself performing a public service after receiving numerous complaints of corruption at weighbridges.
The complaints he received on Saturday as he made his way to Nairobi from the Jubilee retreat in Naivasha, he said, were simply the tipping point.
“I was acting in my oversight role as a Parliamentarian,” he said. “We (URP nominated MP Sunjeev Birdi and he) received calls that the officers at the weighbridge were acting in a manner to suggest they wanted a bribe.”
He did however concede that he might have, “over-reacted,” but he said his, “emotional response,” was the result of seeing Kenyans taken advantage of at the weighbridge.
“If they were uncooperative with me, an MP, how do they deal with the ordinary citizen?” he posed.
Turning the script on the authorities, Keter said he would appreciate their help in recording his statement and in bringing an end to corruption at weigh bridges.
“We want the anti-corruption unit and the CID to really assist us give our statement,” he said.
He also said he would petition the Kenya National Highways Authority (KeNHA), “so that they can do a thorough investigation and report to Parliament on issues to do with corruption from Mariakani to Malaba.”
Keter gave the defence outside the Directorate of Criminal Investigations where he presented himself on receiving media reports, he said, that the Director of Public Prosecutions had directed the police to, “take action against him.”
Birdi was however unable to explain why she and Keter went to the weighbridge to demand the release of her drilling rig in the full knowledge that she did not possess all the necessary paperwork.
“There is one paper which is distributed by KeNHA which classifies certain drilling rigs in a special category like you can have wide load vehicles etcetera. That particular paper was definitely not there,” she said.
Keter also declined to comment on why the Presidency distanced itself from the incident despite his telling officials at the weighbridge that the State House Comptroller had attempted to call them in an effort to get them to release the rig.
“Statehouse Comptroller – that is the President – calls and no one picks the phone?” he admonishes in the video. “I have to see the President himself.”
Something the President’s spokesperson Manoah Esipisu said amounted to nothing more than, “name dropping.”
And still on the subject of careless utterances, Keter said his statement on the video that as legislators, “we’re the ones making laws, when we want to break it we break it when we want,” should not be taken literally.
“I simply meant that we can change the law,” he told Capital FM News.
In the video Keter also tells the weighbridge officials that they risk losing their jobs for failing to meet his and Birdi’s demands.
“Who do you think you are?… Tell your boss (SGS), that this is not France and that they will lose their contract. I don’t fight small wars.”