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Parliament investigates bribery claims as Duale and others named

By Roselyne Obala | Sep 20th 2018 | 4 min read
Kimilili MP Didmus Barasa when he appeared before the National Assembly Powers and Privileges Committee on the bribery allegations at Parliament. [Boniface Okendo/Standard]

The National Assembly Majority Leader will be required to defend himself against claims he lobbied MPs to reject the report on bad sugar to rescue the President's men who were mentioned adversely.

Naivasha MP Jayne Kihara named Aden Duale as having told MPs the report should be rejected because it had implicated President Uhuru Kenyatta's allies, apparently referring to Cabinet secretaries Henry Rotich and Adan Mohamed.

Mrs Kihara made the claims yesterday when she appeared before the Powers and Privileges Committee, which is probing bribery allegations that dogged the House following the rejection of the report.

The committee said Mr Duale would be invited next Tuesday to respond to the claims.

Pressed her

Kihara named Duale, Rahab Mukabi (Nyeri Woman Rep) and David Gikaria (Nakuru Town East) when the committee members pressed her to expound on what informed her utterances in the constituency when she said “Ni kweli kuna wale walikula pesa” (It's true there are those who took bribes).

It emerged that those who sought to entice their colleagues to reject the report of the joint committee of Trade and Agriculture wanted to shield Rotich, Mohamed and former CS Willy Bett from taking responsibility for the mess in the industry.

House Speaker Justin Muturi, MPs Peter Mwathi (Limuru), Omar Mwinyi (Changamwe), Gladwell Cheruiyot (Baringo Woman Rep) and Raphael Mwadime (Mwatate) questioned Kihara further and she said her conversation was with the said MP, (Gikaria), who was allegedly to rally Nakuru County MPs to reject the report.

“He approached me and told me the Majority Leader had told him to rally Nakuru County MPs to reject the report as those mentioned were the President’s people. I told the MP off, insisting that the President did not elect me but the people of Naivasha,” she explained.

Kihara denied any monetary discussion or approach but when in the plenary she indicated that Ms Mukabi warned her to be aware of a woman legislator from northeastern who was dishing out money to sway MPs' position on the matter.

“She told me the lady in buibui was bribing people around. I didn’t follow the matter as I had come late to the chamber. I don’t know her name,” she told the committee.

Geoffrey Odanga (Matayos) and Didmus Barasa (Kimilili) also adversely mentioned Fatuma Gedi (Wajir Woman Rep) and Joseph Tunoi (Kuresoi South).

Mr Odanga said he shamed his colleague when Mr Tunoi approached him to go pick up Sh20,000 being dished out at the new Annex Lounge.

“He approached me when I was taking lunch at the verandah with my two constituents before being joined by colleague Joseph Oyula (Butula). I declined and called them out. He later confided in me that he was saving one of their own in the Cabinet,” said Mr Odanga.

Mr Barasa claimed Ms Gedi attempted to bribe him with Sh10, 000 in the plenary to shoot down the amendment by Homa Bay Woman Rep Gladys Wanga, seeking to hold the ministers to account.

“She gave me an envelope which I established was the money. I declined. She also had a near scuffle with Sirisia MP John Waluke when she tried the same. We were seated under one of the CCTV cameras in the House,” said Barasa.

However, when Mr Waluke appeared before the committee he denied knowledge of any bribery attempts.

He said on that day, Barasa was seated on the Opposition side and he was on the Government side and, therefore, could not corroborate the claims.

The committee invited 12 witnesses to appear before it to shed light on what happened on August 9 that led to the shooting down of the report.

“The committee notes, with respect, that you have in the recent past been quoted in various media making adverse allegations about the conduct of certain MPs around the time of the debate on the report of the joint committee that investigated the alleged importation of illegal and contaminated sugar" said Mr Muturi in his letter to the invited MPs.

He continued: "Most specifically your attention is drawn to the stories in the People Daily on 10 August and The Standard on 10 August, The Standard of Saturday, August 11 and Saturday Nation of the same date.”

Muturi chaired the first sittings yesterday where Justus Makokha (Matungu) and Simba Arati (Dagoretti North) disowned their own reports.

They denied ever making such comments, even though they are on record and spoke to the media.

Mr Makokha, despite shaming colleagues for taking as little as Sh10,000 along Parliament corridors, was almost branded a hostile witness by the Speaker.

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