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Parliament calls in EACC, DCI over MPs bribery claims

NAIROBI
By Moses Nyamori | November 21st 2018
National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi

Parliament has called in detectives to investigative claims that MPs were bribed to shoot down a sugar report.

The National Assembly’s Powers and Privileges Committee has admitted that some lawmakers could have received handouts of Sh10,000 to defeat the controversial report and thus engaged in a criminal act.

Consequently, the committee chaired by Speaker Justin Muturi has invited the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) and the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) to look into the allegations.

In a 46-page report tabled in the House yesterday, the committee said that “there might have been bribery of members of the National Assembly to reject the report on the importation of alleged illegal and contaminated sugar into the country.”

Some MPs who testified during the three-week-long investigation narrated how MPs shared bribes in the toilet to shoot down the report that would have seen two Cabinet secretaries - Henry Rotich (National Treasury) and his East Africa Community (then Trade) colleague Adan Mohammed – kicked out.

Code of conduct

“In light of the above, there was therefore a possible breach of privilege and breach of the Code of Conduct by some members in terms of Section 16 of the Parliamentary Powers and Privileges Act, 2017, and also within the ambit of the criminal law,” states the report.

The committee has given the two agencies 90 days to probe the matter for possible prosecution of the MPs involved.

Curiously, the parliamentary team found that CCTV cameras in Parliament Buildings did not cover the members’ dining lounges in the new wing and the ablution facilities, where the bribery was alleged to have taken place.

“A review and examination of the footage of the National Assembly proceedings of August 9, 2018, by the Parliamentary Broadcasting Unit did not reveal anything untoward or any exchange of envelopes and/or money in the Chamber as claimed by MP Didmus Barasa (Kimilili)," stated the report.

The team further said that none of the witnesses tabled evidence of having seen any MP receiving or bribing their colleagues.

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