NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 7 – Two governors elected on the Opposition Coalition for Reforms and Democracy (CORD) ticket have taken on the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) over allegations that they were involved in underhand dealings in their counties.
Mombasa Governor Ali Hassan Joho and Garissa’s Nathif Jama have written to the commission through lawyer Ahmednasir Abdullahi challenging their inclusion in a report handed over to the President.
They claim the report has been adulterated by the Executive in a public relations exercise and have taken exception to their names being dragged through the mud in the said pursuit.
“Knowing very well the stance our client has taken on national issues, your report was heavily influenced, informed and doctored by the Executive with a view to undermine his political stature and standing,” Abdullahi claimed in his letter to the EACC regarding Joho.
Joho has subsequently threatened legal action against the EACC for defamation.
“He puts on notice both you and your principals that he will not hesitate to subject to the full force of the law all your actions and omissions as it relates to him,” Abdullahi concluded.
In a full-page advertisement published in national dailies on Tuesday, Joho said he was dumbfounded over his inclusion in the EACC list of public officials under investigation for corruption and for a lease agreement entered into by the municipal council close to 20 years before he assumed office.
“Our client is mentioned in relation to a piece of land by the name Mwembe Tayari Market. You quite clearly state that the land was grabbed by Mr Bawazir and Zubedi,” Abdullahi stated in his letter to the commission regarding Joho.
Abdullahi also took issue with Jama’s inclusion on the list on the grounds that he should not be personally held liable for any and all acts of corruption suspected of taking place under his county government.
“Our client is an individual and not the county government of Garissa. The two are needless to say, distinct and different legal personalities,” Abdullahi stated.
Jama is adversely mentioned in the EACC report in connection with ambulance services leasing and the hiring of a helicopter in contravention of procurement law.
“The county government of Garissa hired eight ambulances at a monthly cost of Sh650,000 each. The ambulances were acquired from the Kenya Red Cross through single sourcing,” the EACC Report on the Current Status of Corruption Matters Under Investigation to the Presidency states.
Despite his opposition to the charges, Jama – in Abdullahi’s letter to the commission – has pledged to co-operate with the commission in an effort to clear his name.
“But you should be under no illusion that our client will expect and demand that the law be observed with high fidelity. Our client will protect his right and will not allow anybody including your organisation to infringe on the same. We put you notice and warn you that the cost of such infringement will be very high,” Abdullahi however threatened.