NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 10 Parliament’s Powers and Privileges Committee which is investigating the conduct of members of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) chaired by Budalang’i MP Ababu Namwamba will begin its investigations Wednesday.
CORD lawmakers have however faulted composition and mandate of the probe committee which will first summon Namwamba then later hear from other committee members over the allegations of corruption, bribery and doctoring of reports in favour of individuals and institutions they were investigating.
The probe committee chaired by Kuresoi MP Moses Cheboi is expected to present its report before the House within 21 days.
Homa Bay Town MP Peter Kaluma is urging PAC members who have been summoned to disregard the directive by the probe committee, as Parliament cannot investigate itself, and is instead proposing that the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission takes over the matter.
“I wanted to request Pius Ababu Namwamba and all members of his committee not to honour any summons to appear before the House Privileges Committee on this matter; matters of corruption are issues of economic crimes, I don’t know how somebody can dovetail them and put them within the context of privileges, there is no privilege in corruption,” declared Kaluma.
He further claimed that the issue was being politicised, stating that already the composition of the committee was biased.
“Anything that comes to Parliament takes political overtones… the PAC chairperson said the other day that he could be facing challenges from the Jubilee side, the CORD Coalition and even his party ODM,” said Kaluma.
He explained that institutions created to deal with corruption should do their job, adding that Parliament does not have the requisite machinery to conduct proper fact-finding and come up with a decision on whether those mentioned in the saga are guilty or not.
“I want to request our Speaker to immediately forward the relevant documentation and material including the recording to the EACC so that the matter can be investigated to determine facts from falsehood,” he added.
He claimed some members of the probe committee have been involved in ‘rent seeking’ and should be investigated.
“What moral authority would Parliament have to call government departments on corruption and what trust would people have if they are told that Parliament investigated itself and found itself clean?” posed Kaluma.
There were rumoured talks between one of the CORD principals and four members of the Privileges Committee late afternoon in Parliament, as another bringing together the ODM leadership took place at Raila Odinga’s Capital Hill offices in Nairobi.
The meetings were called ahead of Wednesday’s meeting where those who have been summoned are expected to table the evidence they have to exonerate themselves from the accusations that they engaged in malpractices while conducting oversight.
Part of the evidence is the ‘infamous’ recording of a conversation between Namwamba and ODM leader Raila Odinga whose details are not known.
It is reported that the Privileges Committee may summon the former Prime Minister to give his side of the story.
The statement by Kaluma comes at a time when it is evident that Namwamba who doubles’ up as the ODM Secretary General is facing tough times within his party as reports of infighting begin to surface.
While several leaders from Western region have rallied behind Namwamba declaring his innocence, those from Nyanza have been rather quiet , heightened by reports that he secretly recorded a conversation between himself and Odinga.