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PLO-Mbarire saga raises more questions than answers

By | August 28th 2011

By Gakuu Mathenge

For all his scholarly, martial arts and oratory prowess, Prof Patrick Lumumba Loch Otieno seems to have missed the lesson that he who sups with the devil should have a long spoon.

Regardless of the veracity of the accusations he had with Tourism Assistant Minister and Runyenjes MP Cecily Mbarire, it is PLO who emerged looking awkward.

The altercation left Kenyans fazed and commentators say the KACC CEO should have known better than getting mixed up with people under graft probes.

Commentators say PLO will find it difficult to get the public believe him, or justify what appears to have been poor sense of judgement on his part.

Questions about PLO’s choice first came up in February when he chose to be the master of ceremony at the wedding of the daughter of then suspended Foreign Affairs Minister, Moses Wetangula’s.

The Sirisia MP was under investigations over disposal and purchases of Kenyan embassy properties abroad.

A blogger commenting on the apparent lack of propriety on the part of PLO posted:

"How do you deal with a matter affecting you personally when your business partners and friends are being investigated?"

KACC is yet to make public the results of the investigations or table a report in Parliament about progress of investigations into the purchase of Kenya’s embassy in Tokyo, Japan, Egypt, Brussels and Nigeria.

A report by the Parliamentary Committee on Defence and Foreign relations says Kenya lost an estimated Sh1.2 billion in a suspect land deal in Tokyo.

The report claims the Foreign Affairs ministry under Wetangula declined an offer of land from the Japanese Government in central Tokyo for a new embassy instead opting to buy a building further away, against the advice of an estate agency.

Last Thursday, MPs said only Parliament could reverse its vote of no confidence on Wetangula to clear the way for his reinstatement.

"Even if Wetangula were to return to the Government his reputation is already dented to be effective face of Kenya internationally as Foreign Affairs minister" Dujis MP, Mr Adan Duale said on Friday.

PLO’s dalliance with individuals under investigations over multi-billion scams in the Ministry of Water has blown up on his face prompting some to call for his immediate resignation.

The sequence of events of the PLO-Mbarire affair only raised more questions than answers:

Monday, August 22, PLO called a press conference to announce that a sting operation to catch Assistant minister, Cecily Mbarire, allegedly delivering a bribe to the KACC director, had been betrayed, when the minister was apparently tipped off.

Soon after, Mbarire called her own press conference, at which she displayed photographs of PLO and her husband at a fundraiser for PLO’s charity foundation in Bondo, and a cheque leaf written in favour of the foundation by a firm under KACC’s probe.

Mbarire, her husband, and a so- in-law of Water Minister, Charity Ngilu are business associates in some of the firms under probe.

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