NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 12 – The Parliamentary Powers and Privileges Committee on Thursday heard a recording that allegedly implicates Defence Principal Secretary Mutea Iringo in bribing members of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC).
PAC Chairman Ababu Namwamba presented the audio recording to the committee on a flash disk in a bid to clear himself against corruption charges.
Namwamba alleges the recording proves members of his committee including his vice chairperson, Cecily Mbarire, received a Sh1.5 million bribe from Iringo and the promise of defence contracts to delete any adverse mentions of the PS in an audit report.
“I have it on record that Iringo met Omondi Anyanga, James Bett, Abbas Ahmed and Samuel Arama. At least Sh1.5 million is confirmed to have been collected in cash from Iringo by Anyanga who shared with the members named hereinabove together with Kareke Mbiuki and Cecily Mbarire. I was to be kept strictly in the dark because I am not flexible,” Namwamba wrote in a letter to National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi which was also tabled before the committee Thursday.
Iringo has denied the allegations according to reports in a local daily.
The letter continues to state: “A recorded audio confession in my possession and phone records of the named members, especially Bett and Anyanga easily confirm the liaison between Iringo and the named members.”
On receiving the recording, the Privileges Committee Chairman Moses Cheboi said they would listen to it in Namwamba’s presence, “to ensure there will be no allegations of distortion.”
Namwamba however refused to divulge to the committee the source of the recording saying only that he had shared the recording with none other than Muturi prior to presenting it to the Privileges Committee.
He denied sharing the information contained in the recording with the publisher of Nairobi Law Monthly, Ahmednasir Abdullahi, and challenged the Privileges Committee to summon the lawyer in order to ascertain where his publication obtained the information.
He also urged the Privileges Committee to interrogate the clerks attached to PAC as they could have been the source of the leak.
Namwamba testified before the Privileges Committee in the presence of the media on Thursday despite a ruling by Muturi on Wednesday that it be held in-camera.
Muturi on March 5 suspended PAC’s operations and assigned the Privileges Committee to investigate corruption allegations levelled against its members.