Growing potatoes on govt land? You must be kidding – Koskei

April 2, 2015 2:27 pm
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"The government has never rented any land and has not engaged in growing of potatoes as alleged," Oduol said. "That has turned out to be a very big lie"/CFM NEWS
“The government has never rented any land and has not engaged in growing of potatoes as alleged,” Oduol said. “That has turned out to be a very big lie”/CFM NEWS
NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 2 – Suspended Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Felix Koskei has termed corruption allegations levelled against him as mere fabrications.

Koskei who appeared before Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) detectives on Thursday expressed confidence that he will be cleared after investigations.

“We have had a lengthy discussion with the investigators on the allegations that have been submitted here and we have responded to the questions adequately and I am sure we have satisfied them,” he stated.

His lawyer, James Oduol said he has specifically refuted claims that he has cultivated a 100-acre piece of land belonging to the government.

“The government has never rented any land and has not engaged in growing of potatoes as alleged,” Oduol said. “That has turned out to be a very big lie.”

On the allegations of intimidating and demanding bribes from heads of departments, Oduol said the commission did not show evidence implicating Koskei of the offence.

“There is not a single iota of evidence that was availed to us…in fact this particular issue was completely abandoned,” he said.

Koskei was questioned for more than four hours over the allegations included in the confidential report on corruption presented to Parliament by President Uhuru Kenyatta on Thursday last week.

According to the EACC dossier, “various allegations of conflict of interest and abuse of office; and intimidation and bribery,” have been made against him.

He is also under investigation for “secretly” awarding permits for the importation of sugar despite the national policy restricting duty-free sugar imports in order to protect local millers who would be unable to compete.

Permits, which the EACC explains, were awarded in contravention of procurement laws.

“Allegations that the importers are even importing from a country which is a net importer (have been made),” the Report on the Current Status of Corruption Matters under Investigation to the Presidency of March 20, details.

Investigations are underway into allegations that he rented 100 acres of Kenya Veterinary Vaccines Production Institute land in Tigoni under unclear circumstances to plant potatoes.

“It is reported that the farming is being managed by his PA Mr Kigen. Allegations of conflict of interest since the same CS is supposed to implement action plan for increased satellite deeds in the country,” the dossier reads.

He said he does not know Kigen.

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