NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 1 – Members of the National Assembly in the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) on Tuesday resorted to the Bible in their quest to uncover how one Josephine Kabura’s twenty companies single-handedly won the National Youth Service tenders.
The MPs lead by their Chairman Nicholas Gumbo quoted Bible verses to encourage her shed light on the allegations that were now facing her.
“Then you will know the truth and the truth will set you free,” said the Rarieda MP as he quoted John 8:32.
MPs Eseli Simiyu (Tongaren) and Joel Onyancha (Bomachoge) had earlier quoted two separate Verses from the Books of Matthew and Proverbs, in a bid to convince Kabura to see no value for dirty money.
“Do not store up riches for yourselves here on earth, where moths and rust destroy, and robbers break in and steal. Instead, store up riches for yourselves in Heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy, and robbers cannot break in and steal. For your heart will always be where your riches are,” Simiyu said as he quoted Matthew 6:9-12.
In order to emphasis on the importance of telling the truth, Onyancha read Proverbs 19:9 which states: “No one who tells lies in court can escape punishment; he is doomed.”
The MPs decision to revert to the Holy Scriptures capped the sitting in which Kabura who was accompanied by her advocate Franklin Omino successfully frustrated the legislators by choosing to give inconclusive responses to the queries.
Kabura was on more than four incidents cautioned against making false statements while giving testimony under oath before the Committee.
Gumbo allowed Kabura to appear in camera during the afternoon session following her request.
The MPs who were dissatisfied with Kabura appearance before them, scolded her for holding the Committee in contempt.
Kabura who spoke in long pauses and gave short brief responses, got the better of the MPs nerves as she often claimed that she could not remember details of transactions she handled for some of her 20 companies which were contracted by the NYS.
This led to the PAC Chairman to describe her as a conduit who was being used by unseen individuals.
Gumbo asked the Nairobi businesswoman to stop playing hide and seek, noting she had been taking them “through a charade” for close to four hours.
For instance when the MPs asked Kabura how she made payments of Sh52 million without receipts and later when the question of tax returns – on the Sh1.6 billion she had made from the NYS deals – also arose; the businesswoman said she was in the process of filing them.
“We gave you a chance to redeem yourself. You swindled the people of Kenya and those who benefited from it you have chosen to protect. It is very unfortunate,” said Gumbo.
But MPs Timothy Bosire (Kitutu Masaba) and Alice Chai (Nyamira County Woman Representative) were more dismissive of the businesswoman.
“If we can put it to her that Loise Mbarire did business with you together with Anne Waiguru – the former Minister- would we be correct?
“A lot was done by her but when the money was coming, it just came easy and went; meaning her work was only to ensure the money has come out and is taken somewhere and her work was done. So even we ask so many questions, hana kitu cha kutuambia, (she will not tell us anything),” said Chai.
Gumbo was later involved in an altercation with Kabura’s lawyer whom he accused of failing to advice his client to cooperate with the Committee.
“You have come here with your lawyer who has come to defend you instead of issuing legal advice on this case,” he told Kabura. “Citizens of this country gave your companies over Sh1.6 billion and you have no receipts.”