Sonko, Kavuludi surprise inclusions in Uhuru dossier

From left: Mr Johnston Kavuludi, Chairman National Police Service Commission; Mr Mike Mbuvi Sonko, Senator Nairobi County; and Mr Chirau Ali Mwakwere, High Commissioner to Tanzania. PHOTOS | FILE
From left: Mr Johnston Kavuludi, Chairman National Police Service Commission; Mr Mike Mbuvi Sonko, Senator Nairobi County; and Mr Chirau Ali Mwakwere, High Commissioner to Tanzania. PHOTOS | FILE  

Details of economic crimes allegedly committed by the 175 State officers under pressure since Thursday to vacate their offices were Tuesday revealed as Parliament made public the dossier that President Uhuru Kenyatta left in the House during his State of the Nation address.

The senior public officials, including Cabinet secretaries, principal secretaries, governors and Members of Parliament are accused of looting public coffers, conspiring with private firms to inflate prices of public goods, illegal transfer of land and the rigging of government tenders in favour of associates.  

Mr Kenyatta’s dossier also demonstrates that corruption has permeated nearly every facet of the Kenyan society, including the courts, independent commissions, the national executive, county governments and State-owned companies leading to the loss of an estimated Sh50 billion.

The suspected perpetrators are linked to mega corruption scandals, including the multi-billion-shilling Anglo Leasing, the
procurement of electoral materials, award of Sh327 billion tender for construction of the standard gauge railway, the Sh2.8 billion confidential expenditure by the Office of the President and the Judiciary’s spending.

Senate Majority Leader Kithure Kindiki and his National Assembly counterpart Aden Duale respectively tabled three reports that Mr Kenyatta gave National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi, effectively unmasking the faces behind the alleged crimes.

A corruption dossier, annexed to the reports on National Values, was made available to senators at a special sitting at 9 a.m. before the same was tabled in the National Assembly at 2.30 p.m.

Five Cabinet secretaries, three principal secretaries, the Deputy President’s chief of Staff, 12 governors, the National Police Service Commission chairman, 20 parastatal chiefs, 64 MPs, two senators and several judiciary officers are named in the report that the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) prepared for Mr Kenyatta.

Tuesday’s tabling of the report also revealed surprise names that had until Tuesday not appeared in media reports of the dossier.

The list includes former Cabinet minister Chirau Mwakwere (now Kenya’s high commissioner to Tanzania), Nairobi Senator Mike Mbuvi Sonko and Kenya Football Federation (KFF) chairman Sam Nyamweya.

Cabinet secretaries Charity Ngilu (Land), Felix Koskei (Agriculture), Davis Chirchir (Energy), Michael Kamau (Transport) and Kazungu Kambi (Labour) have since heeded President Kenyatta’s directive to “step aside” pending conclusion of investigations into their alleged involvement in corruption.

The ministers and principal secretaries Nduva Muli (Transport), Mutea Iringo (Defence) and Secretary to the Cabinet Francis Kimemia are accused of influencing the award of lucrative government contracts and abuse of office.

National Police Service Commission chairman Johnston Kavuludi is accused of misappropriating funds, failing to account for funds taken for trips abroad and abuse of office.

The report also shows that the EACC is investigating the Kenya National Audit Office for “defrauding the World Bank in a Sh100 million deal paid in advance for the purchase of an audit vault.

Senator James Orengo (Siaya) is under investigations on claims of disposing of public land in Nairobi irregularly in collusion with former Nairobi Mayor George Aladwa while Jonstone Muthama, the Machakos senator, is named in connection with procurement of the Konza Technopolis land.

While tabling the corruption dossier, Mr Kenyatta asked the EACC and the Director of Public Prosecutions to ensure that investigations into the alleged crimes were concluded within 60 days.

EACC chief executive Halakhe Waqo and DPP Keriako Tobiko on Monday constituted a special team to handle the cases.

The Council of Governors chaired by Bomet Governor Isaac Ruto, who is named in the list, has since dismissed Mr Kenyatta’s directive that they step aside arguing that they are not appointed but elected State officers.

Mr Ruto, Evans Kidero (Nairobi), Samuel Tunai (Narok), Peter Munya (Meru), Alfred Mutua (Machakos), Josephat Nanok (Turkana), Hassan Joho (Mombasa), Amason Kingi (Kilifi), Nathif Jama (Garissa), Ukur Yatani (Marsabit), Okoth Obado (Migori), Godana Doyo (Isiolo) and Cyprian Awiti (Homa Bay) make the list of governors who have been accused of corruption.

They are accused of amassing massive wealth, misappropriating county finances and abuse of office among other charges.

The Constitution says a governor can be removed from office for committing a crime under national or international law, abuse of office or gross misconduct.

Article 181 of the Constitution requires Parliament to enact legislation setting out procedure for removal of governors, an assignment that has not been executed.

The opposition Coalition for Reforms and Democracy (Cord) leader Raila Odinga, whose former chief of staff Caroli Omondi is named in the dossier, has accused Mr Kenyatta and the EACC of colluding to defeat the war on corruption.

On Monday, Mr Odinga said Mr Kenyatta deliberately left out “sacred cows” in his office and the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) officials, making his declared war on corruption hollow.

“There can’t be corruption of this magnitude without the highest priest of the country knowing. Everyone knows the high priest and he is not in the list of shame,” Mr Odinga said when he jetted back into the country on Monday from China and Germany.

While initiating debate on the President’s address to the joint sitting of Parliament, Prof Kindiki said Mr Kenyatta had showed Kenyans that he was willing to fight corruption and asked senators to do their bit.

“By sharing this list with Parliament, the President is being transparent. He wants this House to offer solutions,” he said.

The Tharaka Nithi Senator said although it will be difficult to ask elected State officers to resign, there is need for the named individuals to heed the “step aside” call.

“We need a middle ground and I suggest that elected leaders under investigations must step aside. It is not your role as elected MP but a member of a particular committee that is being asked to step aside. Let MPs step aside from the committees under probe. We also want governors to step aside for investigations to be conducted,” he said.

He said those listed are innocent until proven guilty and asked the EACC and the DPP to speed up the cases.