PLO’s dalliance with Mbarire ruins his legacy
By Gakuu Mathenge
In an interview, nominated MP (Kanu) Amina Abdalla says Lumumba’s dalliance with individuals under investigation by KACC raised disturbing questions.
He is under investigation by the KACC Advisory Board chaired by Okong’o Omogeni, over allegations he invited individuals under probe to a funds drive for PLO Foundation, a matter made public by Tourism Assistant Minister and Runyenjes MP Cecily Mbarire.
“If PLO could not do it, who will? I had high hopes in him. I believed with his high qualifications, top-notch clients and reputation, he had more to lose by not delivering and most to gain by delivering to leave a better legacy than his predecessors. When we gave him the job, we thought he would do it,” Abdalla said adding: “But the latest developments at KACC have raised disturbing questions, including whether it was not time we considered an expatriate for this job. ”
Parliament’s official Hansard shows Abdalla was among the most vocal supporters of PLO’s appointment as KACC director and Pravin Bowry as assistant director, during debate in Parliament on June 23, last year. “I have been in each committee either recruiting or vetting … the issues we have been dealing with are either they are competent or not, not where they come from,” Mrs Abdalla said then.
Asked what he feels about KACC and PLO 12 months after making a powerful statement in his support in Parliament, Abdikadir said: “I have mixed feelings. I think the environment is extremely challenging without the support of the primary institutions of courts, police and prosecution working well.”
The bloated KACC Advisory Board that recruits the CEOs is also under scrutiny, and some wonder if it is really necessary or redundant.
The board features 11 sectoral lobbies, among them the Central Organisation of Trade Unions, whose representatives still have uncleared probity issues related to loss of Sh1.4 billion workers’ savings from National Social Security Fund, through Discount Securities Ltd.
Members of the Advisory board are not vetted. Listing the institutions that nominate the members to the Board, Abdikadir told Parliament during debate on PLO’s suitability: “All the information we (Justice Committee of Parliament) got from these bodies were positive. The Law Society of Kenya and Lawyers Complaint Commission returned a clean bill of health.”
Hansard shows only nominated MP, George Nyamweya, roundly opposed PLO’s appointment as KACC CEO, on account he was unsuitable due to his political activism.
Lumumba unsuccessfully vied for the Kamukunji seat in 2007 and is chairman of the Chama cha Mzalendo.
Abdalla says Kenyans are concerned that three directors of KACC – John Harun Mwau, Justice Aaron Ringera, and now Lumumba – have little to show for billions of shillings taxpayers have invested in the commission.
“It is an indictment of the country, and a decision has to be made. Either the country redefines the corruption it has been trying to fight without success, or clarifies what is clearly a blurred vision of what constitutes corruption and genuine business in Kenya,” the House said.
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