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Triton scandal haunts county nominee

By - | Published Wed, May 8th 2013 at 00:00, Updated May 7th 2013 at 23:13 GMT +3

By Naftal Makori

Nyamira, Kenya: The infamous Sh7 billion Triton oil scandal came back to haunt a nominee in the Nyamira County Executive Committee during vetting.

Mr Caleb Manyaga, who served as Finance manager for the Kenya Pipeline Company and was shown the door in 2009, was at pains to exonerate himself from the scandal. He has been nominated to serve in the county administration’s Finance and Planning docket.

The county assembly’s Appointments Committee being chaired by Speaker Mong’are Kingoina grilled him during the vetting.

Infamous scandal

Leader of Minority party Jackson Mogusu demanded to know whether Manyaga was laid off on grounds that he played any role in the Triton scandal where billions of shillings were reportedly lost.

In response, Manyaga distanced himself from the scandal and accused former powerful politicians of direct involvement in corrupt dealings.

“I have never been involved in any impropriety. I am a clean man. No investigations have been lodged against me either by the Criminal Investigation Department or the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission,” he said.

He linked former top Government officials to the scandal. “Top politicians can protect themselves, small people cannot. Those who were laid off were sacrificial lambs,” he explained.

He said he had taken KPC to court for wrongful dismissal but the case is yet to be determined. “They asked me to take early retirement without justifiable reasons. The case is in court and I prefer not to talk about it,” he said.

At least 10 top management employees at KPC were laid off in 2009 over the multi-billion shilling scandal.

Manyaga reiterated his dismissal was erroneous and he never played any role in the highly publicised scandal.

Others in the Nyamira County appointments committee include former journalist Beauttah Omanga of Bogichora Ward, Callen Atuya of Bokeira Ward and Ezra Ontiri of Magombo Ward.