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MPs drown out Kiunjuri protest and adopts pro-Ngilu report

POLITICS
By | April 15th 2011

Public Works Assistant Minister Mwangi Kiunjuri has trashed a parliamentary report that exonerated Water Minister Charity Ngilu over corruption allegations at her ministry.

Mr Kiunjuri said the Lands and Natural Resources Committee ignored his evidence during the hearings.

He became the lone voice, as other MPs supported the findings of the committee. Parliament went ahead and adopted the report.

While opposing the adoption of the report, the Laikipia East MP said the House team led by Mutava Musyimi had dismissed the evidence he had presented to it, raising serious issues, but it wholesome took the evidence of the Water minister.

He said the committee failed to thoroughly investigate the issues of conflict of interest in award of tenders towards construction of Umaa Dam, despite the Registrar General giving details of companies and directors of those awarded tenders.

Revealed names

"The committee avoided asking the minister (Ngilu) her relationships with some of the consultants yet the Registrar General had appeared before it and revealed their names. What was very difficult for the committee to establish the relationships despite the magnitude of the matter?" asked Kiunjuri.

He further said the committee had proceeded to make conclusion on the suitability of the contractor for Umaa Dam, ignoring the fact that the matter was before court for determination.

Kiunjuri said it was shocking the committee had accepted the evidence of a report produced before it indicating that he had at one point been playing golf at Railways Golf Club with some top officials of the National Water and Pipeline Corporation (NWCPC), where they allegedly conspired to defraud Water ministry.

"Why didn’t the committee look at the authenticity of the document tabled indicating I was playing golf, when they could have easily obtained documents to that effect?" he asked.

But Kiunjuri found himself waging a lone war as other MPs supported the report. There was a flurry of interruptions while Kiunjuri was on the floor, with some members seeking to cut the debate and take a vote.

Nominated MP Millie Odhiambo was the first to seek the Chair’s attention to ask Musyimi to respond. But her attempts were thwarted by the temporary Speaker Ekwee Ethuro who ruled that many members wanted to respond.

Mrs Ngilu, who was in Parliament, did not speak until the report was placed to a vote, with the majority adopting it.

Not compatible

The report makes a variety of recommendations including the sacking of NWCPC chairman Godfrey Ng’ang’a Manguriu.

The committee recommends that President Kibaki, who is the appointing authority, be advised that the conduct of Manguriu is not compatible with that of a chairman of State corporation such as NWCPC as he appears to be a liability to the corporation.

"The committee is of the view that had Mwangi Kiunjuri not been transferred, he might not have raised these issues. His motive in making the allegations is less than clear," says the report.

Musyimi’s committee has recommended that NWCPC should terminate the contract for Umaa dam amicably and undertake as a matter of financial probity to complete the dam.

CEO be charged

They have also recommended that KACC, police and the Attorney General should expedite the investigation into a fire that gutted NWCPC headquarters on the night of September 24, 2009.

They also recommend the three institutions investigate Elburgon Stores Ltd and Associated Companies with a view to establishing whether there was a conspiracy to defraud the corporation.

It also recommends the former NWCPC chief executive Joseph Nzesya be charged in accordance with the Public Officer Ethics Act 2003 for irregular award of tenders, conflict of interest and irregular procurement and abuse of office.

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