Report on embassy scandal is thorough, MPs say

By Athman Amran

Five Rift Valley MPs may support a report, which seeks the sacking of Foreign Affairs Minister Moses Wetang’ula when it comes up in Parliament on Tuesday.

The MPs agreed that the report was ‘thorough’, adding that they only opposed the move to discuss it in Parliament on Thursday because the Standing Orders were not followed.

"We are going to consider the report on its own merit. The report (prepared by the Defence and Foreign Affairs Department Committee) affects the whole country and therefore there is no official position by the Rift Valley MPs," Konoin MP Julius Kones said during a press conference at Parliament buildings yesterday.

Dr Kones and Isaac Ruto (Chepalungu), Jackson Kiptanui (Keiyo South), Benjamin Langat (Aina Moi) and Lukas Kigen (Rongai) said Rift Valley MPs only take a collective stand on matters that affect the region.

Sacking of the minister

They denied making any deal that led to the shelving of the report recommending the sacking of Wetang’ula and his Permanent Secretary Thuita Mwangi over the controversial purchase of the embassy property in Japan in which Kenyan taxpayers lost Sh1.1 billion.

But some Ford-Kenya officials have accused some Western MPs of being behind a campaign to destroy the political career of Wetang’ula.

Ford-Kenya Coast region chairman Yassir Bajaber, Secretary for Human Rights and Democratisation Chris Mandu Mandu and Saboti Branch Secretary James Wanambisi claimed the committee was being used by the politicians opposed to Wetang’ula.

Bajaber and Mandu urged Wetang’ula not to resign as recommended by the committee. He said the report should prove the minister had signed any document during the transaction.

"There are some people who want to spoil for Wetang’ula as he intends to vie for the presidency in 2012," Bajaber said during a press conference at his Nairobi offices.

The Ford-Kenya officials, however, did not give the names of those who want to ruin Wetang’ula’s political career.

Bajaber said if Wetang’ula had anything to do with the deal he could not have invited the Kenya Anti-Corruption Commission to investigate him and his ministry.