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Former CS Felix Koskei: I wish Kenya’s new Cabinet nominees well

POLITICS
By Lilian Aluanga-Delvaux | November 29th 2015

“I am ready to serve the country in whatever capacity.” These are the words of former Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Koskei, who said he learnt of his exit from office through the media.

Speaking to The Standard on Sunday, Koskei wished the nominees to the new Cabinet lineup well, adding that he has no grudge.

Former Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Koskei. He said he learnt about his exit from the media but does not hold any grudge. (PHOTO: COURTESY)

“It is the President’s prerogative to pick anyone he feels he wants to work with and I wish all those who have been nominated well. I also thank the President for giving me an opportunity to serve as a Cabinet Secretary,” he said.

Koskei’s appointment to Jubilee’s first Cabinet, in 2013, ended prematurely in March this year when he was suspended from office over corruption allegations. This followed a directive by President Uhuru Kenyatta that all government officials mentioned in a graft dossier authoured by the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) that he (President) tabled in Parliament, to step aside. Over 170 officials were said to be on the list, whose tabling was seen as a major Government move to take the fight against corruption a notch higher. The dossier was however criticised by some quarters as witch-hunt.

Right thing to do

The former CS was the first to heed to the directive, even though he maintained his innocence. While presenting himself at the EACC’ offices Koskei said: “I am not stepping aside because I am guilty. I am stepping aside because it is the right thing to do.”

He would later be cleared by EACC for lack of sufficient evidence over allegations of illegal allocation of sugar import permits. Koskei was also found blameless over allegations of having allowed illegal cultivation of 100-acre piece of government land. He however did not make it back to Cabinet, which perhaps explains his reasoning of what informed the recent Cabinet reshuffle.

“I believe the recent changes in Cabinet were not necessarily as a result of corruption allegations facing Cabinet Secretaries because if it was, then perhaps some of us would be back because I was cleared of the allegations levelled against me. I think it was purely for purposes of reorganising government,” he said.

He talks of how he received the news of the new line up, even as he maintains he supports Jubilee’s efforts in fighting graft.

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