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Mutula and Karua want Ruto sacked

BUSINESS
By | October 18th 2010

By standard team

Justice Minister Mutula Kilonzo and Gichugu MP Martha Karua have asked President Kibaki and PM Raila Odinga to sack Higher Education Minister William Ruto.

Ms Karua alleged another minister, whom she did not name, had been “convicted of economic crimes”.

But Attorney General Amos Wako declined to discuss the matter, saying he would offer his legal advice to “my clients (the President and Prime Minister) in private.”

Ruto has been under pressure to resign from Government, following last Friday’s ruling by a constitutional court, reinstating criminal charges against in a case instituted in 2004.

He is accused of receiving Sh97 million from a fraudulent sale of part of a forestland to the Kenya Pipeline Corporation.

On Saturday, Ruto said he would not resign on the strength of the criminal charges because the new Constitution presumes he is innocent until proved guilty.

Economic crimes

And on Sunday, the Higher Eduction minister said 26 companies were listed by the Ndung’u report as beneficiaries of land in Ngong’ Forest and yet only Kenya Times Media Trust, with which he was associated, was taken to court. He said at the time, he was not a director of the company and yet he was accused of getting money on behalf of the firm. Ruto claimed that the motive of the case was political.

But Karua and the Justice minister accused him of manipulating the law and logic.

Mutula declared that principals ought to “assert their authority” and oust Ruto from the Cabinet on the account of breaching the Public Officer Ethics Act and chapter 10 of the new laws.

He said the Eldoret North MP’s defence is an “old thought” and accused the Eldoret North MP of “leading us backwards”.

“I don’t know how politics comes in. He applied to the Constitutional Court himself. It (application) was not moved by another politician,” he added.

Karua asked the President and the Prime Minister “as the appointing authority” to follow what the law stipulates to the letter.

She said the call to resign from the Cabinet under the Anti-Corruption and Economic Crimes Act following the criminal charges does not violate the Constitution.

“I know of one minister in that Cabinet who has been convicted of economic crimes, she added without elaborating.

And Cherangany MP Joshua Kutuny defended Ruto said the case was political and was aimed at frustrating the minister’s presidential ambitions in 2012.

“This case has been stuck in the courts for a very long time and the fact that it has come up now is obviously suspect. We will not accept such political games,” he said in Limuru at the weekend.

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