NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 4 –The National Assembly Justice and Legal Affairs committee will probe the state of cases being probed by the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) next week Tuesday after the commissions’ Chief Executive Officer Halakhe Waqo failed to appear before it on Wednesday.
A letter addressed to the Clerk of the National Assembly stated that the invitation had been received Tuesday evening and thus the commission was not prepared to sufficiently respond to the questions by the committee members.
“The nature of the matters which the Parliamentary committee on Justice and Legal Affairs has requested from the commission is weighty and detailed, and will require ample time to prepare a report on the same – I humbly request for more time to prepare and present to the committee on Tuesday, Feb 10,” read the letter.
Waqo was expected to brief the Samuel Chepkonga led Committee on the progress it has made it dealing with corruption following concerns over the rising number of graft cases, which Chepkong’a said was an issue that needed to be addressed.
“The commissions have performed badly – I consider them maybe fairly satisfactory – when CIC hands over, we need to see more work done by the KNHRC, EACC and the Gender Commission,” said Chepkong’a, referring to the Commission for the Implementation of the Constitution, the Kenya National Human Rights Commission and the others.
He however insisted that the committee had sent its letter to Waqo on January 27 and did not understand why it did not reach the commission on time.
Bumula MP Bonface Otsiula, a member of the committee, took issue with the performance of the commission pointing out that despite reporting many corruption cases from his constituency none had been acted upon.
“Mumias has lost over Sh3 billion in corruption related cases – and this commission is doing nothing, the report is in black and white and they are taking no action – this aspect of saying they received the letter yesterday is just a tactic of delay…we have not asked them to come sit for an exam, what we are asking for is just on their fingertips,” said Otsiula.
He alleged that sugarcane farmers have not been paid from March last year, adding that even children have not gone to school because their parents do not have money to pay for their school fees.
The anti-corruption watchdog is expected to respond to various other questions including other pending cases as the Anglo-leasing saga, the Karen land grabbing saga, the conduct of MPs during the special sitting among other cases.
Last year the commission had cried out saying it was overwhelmed by the corruption cases it was handling citing that it did not have enough capacity.
The committee is also expected to probe this.
Already this year, the body is investigating the Langa’ata land grabbing saga and the conduct of Nandi Hills MP Alfred Keter and his counterpart nominated MP Sunjeev Birdi, accused of assaulting police officers manning a weighbridge in Gilgil.