EACC summons Chirchir over ‘chicken’ scandal


Energy secretary Davis Chirchir. PHOTO | FILE

Energy secretary Davis Chirchir is expected to appear before anti-graft detectives Friday for questioning over his role in the ‘chicken’ scandal, becoming the first Jubilee Coalition’s minister to be grilled over corruption.

Mr Chirchir will be interrogated at the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) headquarters a day after Independent Electoral and Boundary Commission chairman Issack Hassan was summoned Thursday to record a statement in the bribery case.

The EACC swings into action barely a week after a London court sentenced Smith & Ouzman (S&O) executives after they were found guilty of bribing Kenyan election and examination officials to win security printing contracts.

Judge Daniel Pearce-Higgins last week convicted S&O officials of paying out bribes codenamed ‘chicken’ and handed Nicholas Smith a three-year jail term while his father Christopher Smith a suspended jail term of 18 months and 250 hours of community service.

Mr Chirchir served as a commissioner at the defunct Interim Independent Electoral Commission (IIEC), which was chaired by Mr Hassan.

READ: UK court sends 'chickengate' duo to prison for five years

Mr Chirchir will be required to step aside and earn half his salary if EACC proceeds to charge him with bribery, as provided for in Kenya’s integrity and anticorruption laws.

“Dena and Chirchir will be in London and would like to meet you on Monday. We’re looking for a figure of Sh10 million for himself commissioners and others,” said S&O local agent Trevy James Oyombra in an email according to papers tabled in the London court.

Other members of the ‘chicken gang’ expected to be quizzed by EACC include James Oswago (ex-CEO), former Judiciary registrar Gladys Boss Shollei (deputy CEO) and former Knec boss Paul Wasanga.

EACC will also summon other officials who ate chicken including lawyer Kennedy Nyaundi (commissioner), Kenneth Karani (senior procurement officer) and former Electoral Commission of Kenya commissioner Joseph Khamis Dena.