Embattled Ethics and Anti- Corruption Commission (EACC) chairman Philip Kinisu has admitted that his family business received payments from government contracts as recently as last month, but insists he will not resign from his watchdog position despite allegations of conflict of interest.
“I will not resign or step aside over claims I know to be untrue,” he said. Mr Kinisu faces claims that a company associated with him was involved in the Sh791 million National Youth Service scandal.
Esaki Limited is said to have been awarded Sh35.4 million tenders for the supply of various items to the NYS between October 2014 to November 2015.
Fresh documents also indicate that Esaki Limited received another payment of Sh246 million on June 16, which Mr Kinisu admits is a payment by a government agency but insists it is not the NYS.
“The company (Esaki Limited) is alive and well, doing its normal business. I never said it had stopped,” said Mr Kinisu in a response to the Business Daily queries.
Speaking earlier Tuesday at a morning Press briefing, the corruption watchdog boss admitted he had interest in the family owned company and had served as a director until April this year.
“Even during the time of the scandal, other companies conducted legitimate business with NYS and Esaki got the tenders that were openly tendered and which it listed as a pre-qualified supplier,” he said.
Mr Kinisu was appointed EACC chairman in January this year. “At the time of the interviews there was no need to mention the interactions as no conflict of interest existed since all business done was legitimate,” he said.
Mr Kinisu refuted claims that the involvement of Esaki had hampered the anti-corruption agency’s ability to fully investigate the NYS scandal.
“As far as investigations are concerned there are elaborate procedures that separate the oversight role of the commissioners from operations management. NYS transactions are being investigated by a multi-agency team over which chairman of the EACC cannot exert undue influence,” he said.
Mr Kinisu claimed that the allegations could be related to the ongoing vetting of EACC staff and investigation of several high profile cases.
“The challenges we are facing are a manifestation of corruption fighting back. The vicious fight back demonstrate the dangers myself, fellow commissioners and even the staff face,” he said.