NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 21- A section of the Orange Democratic Movement legislators strongly condemned the Ethics and Anti-corruption Commission (EACC) for including Hassan Joho in the list of shame over an offence allegedly committed long before he became Mombasa Governor.
The leaders have accused the anti-graft agency of targeting the top leadership of ODM, not only to tarnish the name of the party leaders but also to intimidate their supporters.
The Mombasa Governor is accused of illegal allocation of Mwembe Tayari market to a private investor, allegations he denied on Tuesday after three hours of grilling by EACC detectives.
The more than seven Members of Parliament and Members of the County Assembly sensationally claimed that Joho was being targeted because of his rising political star which may lead him to State House after his party leader Raila Odinga.
“We know they have been looking for a chance to tarnish the name of our party leader for a very long time…the government should first clean its house,” Mombasa Women Representative Mishi Mboko said amid cheers from ODM supporters who had camped outside Integrity Centre.
“We believe in justice…we are telling President Uhuru Kenyatta to start with his house in fighting corruption and he shall succeed. The weak should not be targeted.”
Homa Bay Women Representative Gladys Wanga on her part said: “EACC must not be used to intimidate poor leaders who are working for our people….we also want to know who the complainants are. We don’t want our leaders to be touched by any dirt more so those working for the people of Kenya like Joho.”
Joho, who is the ODM deputy party leader said it’s only one floor of the market that was leased in 1996 under the leadership of then Mombasa County Council.
Instead, Joho accused the anti-graft body of being used by his political opponents who are worried over his presidential ambitions come 2022.
“We know what we want…things we will go as planned in 2017 and thereafter in 2022,” he stated
About the allegations, he said “The market was allocated in 1996 and had nothing to do with us…I was a very young man at that time. There is nothing serious there.”
“It is only a lease of the first floor of the market but the actual market still belongs to the County Government of Mombasa.”
He was accompanied by his lawyer Ahmednasir Abdullahi who also termed the allegations as “nothing serious.”
Joho becomes the second Governor to be grilled by EACC detectives after Nairobi’s Evans Kidero.