, NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 15 – The feeling is real – Kenyans are exasperated. Angered by claims that a section of their representatives in the National Assembly received bribes of between Sh10,000 and Sh30,000, to shoot down the sugar report last week.
While some legislators have confirmed that indeed money changed hands in what would be a classic case of betrayal to Kenyans, others have vehemently denied the claims.
In defence, those accused of pocketing cash accuses the Joint Parliamentary Committee that was probing proliferation of contraband sugar, led by MP Kanini Kega of doing a shoddy job.
“How can I bribe an Honourable Member with Sh10,000… honestly, what is Sh10,000?” Wajir Woman Representative Fatuma Gedi posed on August 13.
A mere Sh10,000 cannot buy lunch for an MP, she argued.
Kimilili MP Didmus Barasa had accused her of being part of the lot giving cash.
Kenyans on Twitter are taking none of that.
Through the hashtag #HouseofPigs, they have expressed their sentiments, that are raw of rage.
Here are some of the comments;
“It’s a big shame for MPs to get bribed and shoot down a very important report. No other parliament has behaved in such a manner. We should recall this #HouseOfPigs and vote in sober leaders. Seems it’s will take ages to achieve the Big4 if these are the characters,” Raila Junior Odinga posted on his official twitter handle @Railajunior.
@lwalubengo wondered, “This government is just giving me the chills… #HouseOfPigs does this mean we will get serious at the ballot next elections? Ama we’ll just keep playing around with our lives? #Horror #Death #GetSerious.”
“DCI Kinoti, DPP Haji, and Mheshimiwa SANY are the only trio we Kenyans are counting on to restore our dignity. #HouseOfPigs,” @cwyyell.
“These #Mpigs and the entire #HouseOfPigs are trading our health for cheap bribes to fuel their tumbocratic Agendas. We’re DOOMED!” @Kipezer.
“Millions of shillings changed hands as shadowy figures sought to influence the debate so that some top government officials implicated by the report could be let off the hook. #HouseOfPigs,” @wangari_gaitho said.
The report had recommended that Treasury CS Henry Rotich is held accountable for sanctioning a duty-free window that opened the floodgates for traders to import excess sugar tax-free.
It also recommended among others that the immediate Industrialization CS Adan Mohamed to take responsibility for failing in his mandate of ensuring that the Kenya Bureau of Standards carried out its role to guarantee imported sugar was safe for human consumption.
National Assembly Justin Muturi has since invited Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission to probe the claims.
“I have instructed the Clerk of the National Assembly to immediately write to the members who have been quoted in sections of the media citing incidences of bribery within the Precincts of Parliament; inviting them to share their testimonies or any information that they may have with the Powers and Privileges Committee,” the National Assembly Speaker revealed.