NAIROBI, Kenya, Sept 5 – The National Assembly Powers and Privileges Committee has set September 18 and 19 as the dates when it will hold public hearings to probe allegations that MPs received kickback to shoot down a joint House Committee Report on the proliferation of contaminated sugar in the country.
The resolution was arrived at during a meeting which was chaired by National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi on Wednesday morning.
The public hearing will be held at County Hall.
“10 or so Members who have made allegations of bribery in regards to the sugar probe will appear as witnesses to authenticate their allegations,” read a brief statement.
Muhoroni MP Onyango K’Oyoo and Kimilili MP Didmus Barasa are set to testify before the committee after they claimed that some MPs received between Sh3,000 – Sh10,000 to reject the report.
The two alleged that the joint report prepared by committees chaired by MP Kanini Kega (Kieni) and his Mandera South counterpart Adan Haji was doctored to protect top government officials implicated in the saga.
In his Communication to the House delivered last week, Muturi identified the K’Oyoo and Barasa two as “people of interest” and ordered them to recuse themselves from the committee as they will appear as witnesses.
The Speaker is quoted as stating that upon evaluation of the testimonies, Powers and Privileges Committee may consider inviting the competent investigatory agencies, in particular the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) as provided for in the Leadership and Integrity Act to conclusively handle the investigations with the view to taking necessary action against any member found culpable of this grossly unethical conduct.
Wajir Woman Representative Fatuma Gedi is among lawmakers accused of giving the bribe but she denied the accusation saying the Sh10,000 was too little even to cater for her lunch.
“How can I bribe an Honourable Member with Sh10,000… honestly, what is Sh10,000?”
“Sh10,000 cannot even buy lunch for an Honourable MP and I want to challenge the Honourable Didmus Barasa, if I indeed bribed him or I bribed in that matter 349 MPs, whose interests was I working for? Nobody has sent me, nobody gave me money to go and bribe any Honourable MP,” she said.
The controversial report had implicates National Treasury Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich, East African Community Cabinet Secretary Adan Mohamed who was then in charge of the trade docket then, and former Agriculture CS Willy Bett (currently the High Commissioner to India).