Court blocks Matemu’s appointment as anti-graft boss
| May 17th 2012
By Karanja Njoroge and Martha Mibei
The High Court has blocked the appointment of Mumo Matemu as the Ethics and Anti Corruption Commission (EACC) Chairman pending the determination of a civil case.
Nakuru High Court Judge Anyara Emukule ordered that the decision of Parliament and Executive to approve Matemu’s appointment be stayed pending the hearing of the suit.
The Judge certified the case as urgent saying some of the issues raised against his appointment by the Trusted Society of Human Rights Alliance were weighty.
Matemu and two other nominees were approved by Parliament last week.
The human rights group moved to court claiming that during his tenure as Agricultural Finance Corporation (AFC) Chief Legal Officer, Matemu presided over massive plunder of public funds.
The alliance has named the Attorney General, the Minister for Justice and Constitutional Affairs and Director Public Prosecution as respondents.
Matemu is enjoined in the suit as an interested party.
Lawyer Gordon Ogolla for the human rights group told the Court that it was during Matemu’s period as the Corporation’s Chief Legal Officer that millions of shillings were given to farmers without proper security.
He said in 1993 Matemu approved the release of Sh 24 Million as loan to Rift Valley Agricultural Contractors on the basis of land as security.
“The plunder would not have happened without the knowledge of the Chief Legal Officer as lending was within his docket,” he said.
He accuses Matemu of having approved the loan despite being aware that the parcel of Land used as security was sold four years before the transaction took place.
He alleged that on the same day, Matemu approved two other loans of Sh18 million and 19.2 million respectively to subsidiary companies of the Rift Valley Agricultural Contractors.
The funds the group claims were however not given to the Rift Valley Agricultural Contractors but were instead disbursed to the National Bank in mysterious circumstances.
“It is not known whose names they were converted to and to who they were cleared to,” Ogolla told the court.
He said it is likely that EACC will investigate the issue and with Matemu as an interested party there can be no fair or fruitful probe.
The alliance has also accused Matemu of individually canvassing for support from Members of Parliament.
The group says that it has evidence that new anti graft Czar met five MPs at a Nairobi Hotel seeking their support.
Justice Emukule ordered that the respondents be served within seven days and direted the case be heard interparties on May 30.
He also ordered for the proceedings to be copied to the Chief Justice Willy Mutunga for further Directions.
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