NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 31 – Phillip Kinisu has resigned as EACC chairperson a day after Members of Parliament approved recommendations by the Justice and Legal Affairs Committee to form a tribunal to probe him over his NYS links.
In a statement on Wednesday, Kinisu insisted his innocence while saying that his move will allow the anti-graft agency to focus entirely on the war on graft instead of diverting entire attention to him.
Questions of conflict of interest have been raised after it emerged that his family company Esaki Limited, had won lucrative tenders with government agencies he is supposed to investigate – including the National Youth Service (NYS).
“I maintain that the company and I are innocent of the allegations that have been made,” he said.
“At the same time, I am mindful that significant resources and attention are being expended by the State and the public on deliberating these matters rather than to the fight against corruption.”
All along, Kinisu has maintained that his woes were as a result of some of the radical measures he had recommended, that include lifestyle audit of all EACC officials, a proposal that was challenged in court by activists.
He was the director of Esaki Limited during the NYS transactions – a family company registered in 2000 – until April 19 this year, “when I ceased to be a director on account of my commitments at EACC.”
It is a company he says that has been operating legally and in the case of NYS, he insisted that it performed its obligations as per the terms of the contracts, “and was subsequently paid as per the contracts.”
All contracts between the company and NYS, he said were won and executed prior to his appointment as the chairperson of EACC.
Just like any Kenyan, Kinisu on July 19 categorically stated that he has a right “to do business” with any government institution.
It now means that President Uhuru Kenyatta will not be required to form a tribunal.
Kinisu has been a loner in the battle to retain his position, after his colleagues launched a probe against him without his knowledge.
He accused the agency of spitefully packaging a list of allegations against him as claimed by a civil society group – Bunge la Mwananchi – which blew the whistle on the matter.
“The allegations that have been made against the company and I are unsubstantiated and yet as I speak to you this morning, we have been tried and convicted in the court of public opinion by the deliberate manner in which the matters have been framed and orchestrated,” he complained on July 19, during a briefing.
Here is how EACC has evolved since its formation as the Kenya Anti-Corruption Authority (KACA) in 1997 with first director being former Kilome Member of Parliament John Harun Mwau.