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Bribery claims rock House

KENYA
By Moses Nyamori | April 9th 2021

Parliament is once again in a spot over bribery claims.

This time round, a liquor firm shocked a watchdog committee with claims that a property developer gave some members kickbacks to ‘look the other way’ in a probe against it.

Yesterday, Members of the National Assembly were taken aback by allegations leveled against their colleagues that the proprietor of Erdemann Property, gave free homes to influence closure of a distillery being investigated for pollution.

According to London Distillers Kenya (LDK) Limited, through its chair Mohan Galot, several MPs were either given homes for free or got them under subsidised rates by Erdemann Property.

In a letter addressed to National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi, Galot’s claims surprised members of the Committee on Implementation of House Resolutions chaired by Narok North MP Moitalel Ole Kenta.

The committee is tasked with ensuring the resolutions of the House are implemented.

The MPs termed the latest twist in the matter as an attempt to blackmail them. The company is facing closure for dumping toxic waste materials in Athi River.

Kenta said that the committee will not allow LDK to malign their names of its members in an attempt to stall the probe. The committee now wants the directors of the distillery to be investigated by the Powers and Privileges Committee chaired by Speaker Muturi.

“We have never been bribed by anybody and we are going to continue with our work to ensure that the report by the environment committee is implemented,” said Kenta.

“Mr Galot has realised that the truth that is coming out so far is not favouring him and he now wants to gag members of this committee.

Safeguard integrity

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“To him, the lives of ordinary Kenyans suffering due to pollution caused by LDK do not matter so long as he continues with his operations,” said the committee chair.

In the letter, the distillery claimed that there was open bias by the MPs to determine the matter in favour of the developer and demanded that the 19-member committee be reconstituted.

“…We would therefore request with all humility to safeguard the integrity of Parliament, that you order for an inquiry to be conducted in order to ascertain whether the confidential information we have received that several members of the Committee have acquired houses either freely or over subsidised rate,” said Galot in the letter.

He said that they will not participate in the ongoing probe by the committee over claims that they have a predetermined outcome on the matter. The distillery said that when its officers appeared before the committee on March 3 alongside officers from the National Environment Management Authority (Nema), they were reduced to bystanders as MPs made claims that it compromised the authority.

“When our representatives appeared before the committee, the manner in which the Director General of Nema was questioned and attacked by the members and throwing out the report on allegations that NEMA had been compromised by LDK was questionable,” states the letter.

LDK said that it has every reason to believe that the MPS had a vendetta against it.

The report, filed in 2018 and adopted by the House, accused the distiller of lacking latest waste-management technology.

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