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Leaders accuse parliament of shoddy work in sugar probe

By John Shilitsa | Published Sun, July 8th 2018 at 00:00, Updated July 7th 2018 at 21:20 GMT +3
From Left: Devolution Cabinet Secretary Eugene Wamalwa, Sabatia MP Fred Agoyi, Bungoma Senator Mosses Wetang’ula and ANC party leader Musalia Mudavadi during burial of the late Francis Chahongo in Hombala Village, Vihiga County, yesterday. [Chrispen Sechere, Standard]

In summary

  • Mudavadi says only a commission has the capacity to dig deeper into issues surrounding the sugar scandal
  • Leaders challenge Mudavadi and Wetang’ula to seriously work on their presidential bid and work with Uhuru

Sugar politics took centre stage at the burial of former Kenya Sugar Board boss Francis Chahonyo in Hombala village, Vihiga County yesterday.

Leaders demanded that the parliamentary committees probing the matter be surcharged for doing a shoddy job.

They also want a commission of inquiry constituted to look into the sugar scandal and tell Kenyans what transpired. ANC leader Musalia Mudavadi said the parliamentary committee lack the capacity to probe the issue conclusively.

“We need a commission comprising the Chief Justice or Supreme Court Judge and experts who have the knowledge and capacity to conduct a thorough probe of the issue,” said Mudavadi.

He said past commissions of public inquiry were no-nonsense entities that dig deep into issues.

“I was subjected to grilling during the Goldenberg scandal and it was not a joke, the parliamentary team cannot do that,” he said.

The ANC leader challenged President Uhuru Kenyatta to guarantee Kenyans accountability in all sectors.

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“His Big Four agenda legacy may not be realised if he fails to deal with the rampant corruption, he must also be reminded to be accountable to the people,” argued Mudavadi.

Bungoma Senator Moses Wetang’ula accused the parliamentary committees of taking selfies with individuals under probe over importation of duty free sugar.

Return money

“I agree with the Speaker of the National Assembly that the lawmakers need to have done better, they were able to table a dubious report because they were compromised,” Wetang’ula said.

He said MPs must be forced to return all the money spent on travel expenses and other activities during the compiling of the report.

Devolution Cabinet Secretary Eugene Wamalwa said the executive would soon gazette regulations to streamline the sugar industry.

“We shall play our part as the executive but we want the legislators to do their part also,” he said.

He said the government will reintroduce sugar development levy and zoning as part of the reforms to revive the sugar industry.

Meanwhile, Mudavadi has urged politicians from Western and locals not to give up on him and his quest to for the presidency.

“To build strong leadership is not a spontaneous process, it calls for patience as it would take time to achieve it,” he said.

He said locals must borrow a leaf from other regions that have succeeded in producing strong leaders.

“In other areas, leaders have been built by their supporters over time before they go ahead to win the presidency,” he argued.

He was reacting to sentiments by Cotu Secretary General Francis Atwoli, Devolution CS and Kakamega Governor Wycliffe Oparanya who challenged him (Mudavadi) to be serious about his presidential bid.

Atwoli urged Mudavadi and Wetang’ula leaders to work with President Uhuru Kenyatta and engineer constitutional reforms.

“You cannot sit on the fence and expect to pull a surprise at the last minute, it will never work that way, you two must strategize and move closer to the government in order to enhance your chances of ascending to power.”

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