Ababu probe to kick off on Thursday

March 11, 2015 4:46 pm
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Namwamba who appeared before the Powers and Privileges Committee on Wednesday to lay down the procedure of grilling maintained his innocence on the allegations leveled against him. Photo/ FILE
Namwamba who appeared before the Powers and Privileges Committee on Wednesday to lay down the procedure of grilling maintained his innocence on the allegations leveled against him. Photo/ FILE

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 11 – Public Accounts Committee Chairman Ababu Namwamba is on Thursday expected to spill the beans on the rot in the committee which has recently been dogged by allegations of bribery, corruption and deceit leading up to the suspension of its activities by the Speaker of the National Assembly.

Namwamba who appeared before the Powers and Privileges Committee on Wednesday to lay down the procedure of grilling maintained his innocence on the allegations leveled against him.

“We have held a preliminary session although it was meant to be a substantive session but we agreed that whatever issues the committee is delving into have to be framed clearly so that we know what we are dealing with and what I am supposed to be responding to – I just believe that it was not proper that I should come and respond to issues that have not been framed,” said Namwamba.

He expressed confidence that the committee would accord him a free, fair and just hearing urging it to adhere to the Standing Orders.

“I have confidence that the committee is going to respect the requirements of due process and that this exercise will be just and fair. I have raised a number of concerns with the committee; it is now up to the committee to live up to my expectations and the expectations of this institution and the people of Kenya,” added Namwamba.

READ: Ababu demands public hearing, says he has nothing to hide

Capital FM News has obtained a dossier reportedly submitted to the Speaker of the National Assembly by the Budalangi legislator implicating senior government officials, members of Parliament, Parliamentary staff and several institutions in the PAC corruption racket.

The letter addressed to the Speaker indicates that Namwamba had notified him of the goings on in the committee which according to the document had ‘pretty much crippled’ operations of the committee.

It indicates that the Speaker had agreed that the Ethics and Anti- Corruption Commission (EACC) investigate the allegations, however in a meeting held on February 18 attended by the Speaker, members of the committee vehemently opposed the decision to invite the EACC, and the matter was shelved.

READ: Ababu Namwamba’s PAC suspended for graft probe

The document further outlines how much was paid to whom and for what purpose.

Namwamba blames his woes on the fact that he scuttled the plot by some of the committee members to ‘save’ a senior government official from blame over the spending of close to three billion shillings drawn from the Office of the President.

“I have it on record that two senior government officials met with four committee members at a luxurious hotel in the capital. At least Sh1.5 million is confirmed to have been collected in cash from the government official and shared between the members—I was to be strictly kept in the dark because I am not flexible,” read part of the letter.

The letter also alleges that the Nairobi Law Monthly associated with controversial lawyer Ahmednassir Abdullahi had even published an article on the alleged corruption in the committee adding that efforts to summon its publisher were opposed by four members of the committee.

It also implicates one of the committee clerks in the saga, who is accused of drafting reports to favour persons being probed, that on three instances, what was documented was contrary to what had been presented in the committee sittings.

The said Clerk who was apparently replaced is also blamed for the ‘disappearance’ of documents submitted by individuals being investigated by the committee.

Namwamba further alleges that the operations of the watchdog committee were under threat as they had been ‘taken hostage’ by multiple interests and ‘forces’ including political witch-hunt, weaknesses in institutions of the National Assembly among others.

“I am proud of my performance as PAC Chairman. In less than two years, under my stewardship, the committee performed the unprecedented miracle of clearing a backlog of audited accounts going back five years,” read part of the conclusion.

In the letter Namwamba is seen to urge the Speaker to use PAC as an example to deal with other integrity issues within Parliament.

The letter which ends with a quote from the Bible, Psalms 23:4, “Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I shall fear no evil…” was also copied to the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission and the Director of Public Prosecutions.

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