NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 23 – Ethics Anti-corruption Commission (EACC) Chairman Mumo Matemu on Tuesday told off critics of his team’s pace of investigations into the multi-million shilling ‘chicken’ scandal, saying they need time to conduct their probe.
Matemu says the commission cannot rely on the evidence acquired in the United Kingdom where two officials of the UK based firm, Smith & Ouzman said to have bribed Kenyans election officials, were prosecuted and jailed for three years.
He was reacting to criticism from Opposition leaders including Raila Odinga who has questioned the need for further probes yet there have been convictions over the same matter.
“I would urge that we don’t agitate for people’s blood… these are investigations which have international components,” he stated. “There is a law on international legal assistance; we cannot issue a legal request for mutual legal assistance. It is dependent on the cooperation which we have established.”
EACC detectives want to establish how the election materials tendering process awarded to the UK firm was carried out and whether the law was breached.
On Saturday, Odinga called on Kenyan officials implicated in the scam to step aside and prove their innocence in court, insisting that prosecutions should commence immediately.
The former Prime Minister dismissed the ongoing investigations as a waste of public resources and time.
“Those who have eaten chicken must step down…rarely do thieves confess, you should not keep on saying I am clean, go say it in the court of law!” he stated.
“Why keep on saying you are white as cotton? …Go to court, confess and then there can be reconciliation.”
Odinga specifically called for the resignation of officials at the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) as well as Energy Cabinet Secretary Davis Chirchir who are under investigation in the unfolding scandal.
Chirchir and a former chief executive of the Kenya National Examinations Council (KNEC) Paul Wasanga have since been questioned over the scandal.
Chirchir called on members of the public to offer any information that may help clear his name in the chicken scandal.