Kenya: PAC summons top State officials over scandals


Parliamentary Accounts Committee member David Ngugi addresses a news conference at Serena Hotel, Nairobi. Looking on is chairman Bonny Khalwalwe.
A parliamentary watchdo

The Kenya Anti-Corruption Commission boss, the National Security Intelligence Service boss, three permanent secretaries and the National Cereals and Produce Board's top management were summoned by Parliamentary Accounts Committee (PAC) chairman Bonny Khalwale.

The anti-corruption boss, Justice Aaron Ringera, Agriculture PS Romano Kiome, Special Programmes PS Mohamed Ali and their Finance counterpart Joseph Kinyua were ordered to appear before PAC within seven days.

Also to appear before the committee are NCPB managing director Gideon Misoi and the newly-appointed chairman Jimnah Mbaru.

Others are Kenya Ports Authority managing director James Mulewa, NSIS boss Michael Gichangi and chairman of the Association of Kenya Millers Diamond Laji.

Speaking to journalists at Serena Hotel on Saturday, Mr Khalwale said those summoned were in a better position to explain what led to the two multi-million-shilling scandals.

At the same time, four Cabinet ministers said it was time for heads to roll to restore the confidence of Kenyans in the coalition government.

The ministers, James Orengo (Lands), Otieno Kajwang' (Immigration), Paul Otuoma (Fisheries) and Dalmas Otieno (Public Service), said the fight against corruption should not be shrouded in ethnic or party interests since graft was threatening the very foundation upon which the Kenyan nation was built.

Anyone who has stolen food from the mouths of starving Kenyans should not be spared. We have talked enough about the fight against corruption and Kenyans now want to see action, Mr Orengo said.

Food shortage

Elsewhere, Prime Minister Raila Odinga fought off accusations linking him to the current food crisis. Since when did you see Raila stoop too low as to steal maize meant for starving Kenyans? That is rubbish, he said.

In Nairobi, Mr Khalwale said PAC was summoning the senior public servants to shed more light on the scandals; the maize scam that has heralded serious food shortage and the Triton saga in which billions of shillings are reported to have been lost.

We are calling them to report to PAC in the next seven days so that they can tell us what is really happening, he said.

The Ikolomani MP said it was unfortunate that 10 million Kenyans were staring hunger in the face while a few individuals were enriching themselves.

He said politicians were trying to divert the attention of Kenyans by creating sideshows through baseless allegations, arguing that some of them were part of the cartels stealing from the public.

This is very sad. They are trying to divert the attention of Kenyans because some of them have already been mentioned to have participated in the scandals, he said.

Kinangop MP David Ngugi, a PAC member, said NCPB should explain how briefcase millers managed to get tenders. The MP said the plea by the government for donor funding was unjustifiable since the stolen money could have been used to feed Kenyans.

While declaring the food shortage a national emergency, President Kibaki on Friday made a plea for international assistance to raise Sh37 billion to fight famine.

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