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Graft: House team clears Ngilu

Discussion in 'International Forum' started by Rutashubanyuma, Apr 14, 2011.

  1. Rutashubanyuma

    Rutashubanyuma JF-Expert Member

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    Graft: House team clears Ngilu

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    Water minister Charity Ngilu. Parliament's Lands and Natural Resources committee has cleared her of allegations of impropriety in her Ministry April 13, 2011. FILE

    By PETER LEFTIE
    Posted Wednesday, April 13 2011 at 15:41

    A Parliamentary team has cleared Water minister Charity Ngilu of allegations of impropriety in her Ministry.

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    The departmental committee on Lands and Natural Resources chaired by Gachoka MP Mutava Musyimi ruled that there was no evidence to link Mrs Ngilu to allegations of corruption and nepotism at the Ministry and a number of state corporations under it.

    "There is no evidence that the Minister for Water and Irrigation is linked to contractors, consultants and dam experts or whether she used her office to influence the award of contracts for construction of dams," the committee concluded in its report.

    It instead turned the heat on Public Works assistant minister Mwangi Kiunjuri, who had accused Mrs Ngilu of corruption and nepotism, questioning his motives for blowing the whistle on alleged corruption at the Water Ministry.

    The committee accused Mr Kiunjuri of attempting to influence inflating the cost of Umaa dam by Sh652 million in favour of the contractor.

    "The Hon. Kiunjuri had played golf with the director and contractor Umaa Dam, Chairman, National Water Conservation and Pipeline corporation and sitting Director, National Water Conservation and Pipeline Corporation on August 26, 2010 and appears that during this golfing incidence a deal to inflate the cost of Umaa dam was hatched," the report notes.

    The committee questioned the motive behind Mr Kiunjuri's subsequent visit to the Dam behind Mrs Ngilu's back, during which he recommended that the government should sink the extra money into the project.

    "The committee concluded that Hon Mwangi Kiunjuri raised issues of corruption in the Ministry of Water and Irrigation and its agents after being transferred," the committee says.

    According to the committee, Mr Kiunjuri squarely blamed Mrs Ngilu for his transfer from the Water Ministry.

    "The committee is of the view that had the Hon. Mwangi Kiunjuri not been transferred, he might not have raised these issues. His motive in making the allegations is less than clear," the report states.

    The committee's findings bring to an end a long running battle of words between Mrs Ngilu and Mr Kiunjuri over alleged corruption at the Ministry which had threatened to harm her career.
     
  2. Rutashubanyuma

    Rutashubanyuma JF-Expert Member

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    Kiunjuri recalled over dams scam statement

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    Works assistant minister Mwangi Kiunjuri testifies before the Parliamentary Select Committee on Environment and Natural Resources on November 18, 2010. Kiunjuri has accused Water minister Charity Ngilu of engaging in corrupt deals in her ministry. Photo/FILE

    By NATION REPORTER
    Posted Thursday, March 17 2011 at 21:45

    Works assistant minister Mwangi Kiunjuri on Thursday gave additional information to Kenya Anti-Corruption Commission detectives over the dam scandals at the Water ministry.

    Mr Kiunjuri was questioned at Integrity House on funds to build more than 15 dams in arid areas. The anti-graft agency had summoned him on Wednesday.

    "I went there to confirm my statement relating to the corruption at the Ministry of Water," the assistant minister said.

    The parliamentary Committee on Lands and Natural Resources chaired by Gachoka MP Mutava Musyimi is also investigating the dams scandal.

    Mr Kiunjuri has accused minister Charity Ngilu of being behind the scandal, which she has denied. (READ: Kiunjuri hands dossier on Water ministry to Kacc)

    On Thursday, Mr Kiunjuri said the commission seemed close to concluding the investigations.

    KACC is investigating scandals in government involving ministers Ngilu, Naomi Shaban (Gender), Moses Wetang'ula (former Foreign Affairs) and Otieno Kajwang' (Immigration).

    Anti-graft boss Patrick Lumumba is expected to forward the files on the ministers to Attorney General Wako for possible prosecution.

    Mrs Ngilu has said that she declined to pay the funds because the contractors of Umaa Dam in Ukambani, who she said were friends of Mr Kiunjuri, had inflated the costs.

    On Tuesday, committee members told Mr Kiunjuri that only Umaa Dam seemed to have spent funds without matching progress on the ground.

    And Mr Kiunjuri accused the Rev Musyimi of being a director of a company in which a relative of Mrs Ngilu also sits. The Gachoka MP said he had sold his shares.

    Kiunjuri claimed that the committee had handled some witnesses "with kid gloves and others were handled with iron fists."
     
  3. Rutashubanyuma

    Rutashubanyuma JF-Expert Member

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    Graft allegations dominate MPs probe on water scandal

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    Public Works assistant minister Mwangi Kiunjuri gives evidence before the Parliamentary select Committee on Environment and Natural Resources March 15, 2011.The hearing was turned into an arena of corruption and bias allegations. HEZRON NJOROGE

    By ALPHONCE SHIUNDU, ashiundu@ke.nationmedia.com
    Posted Tuesday, March 15 2011 at 13:48

    Parliament's probe into the multi-billion scandal in the Water Ministry was turned into an arena of corruption and bias allegations Tuesday.

    In a stormy meeting at Nairobi's Continental House, Shinyalu MP Justus Kizito was alleged to having attempted to influence the chairman of the National Water Conservation and Pipeline Corporation not to spill the beans regarding the scandal in the corporation.

    Mr Kizito who was in the meeting refuted the claims, but Mr Kiunjuri stuck to his guns: "The only way I can substantiate is to table the chairman here."

    The Lands and Natural Resources Committee will have to unearth the details of Mr Kizito's talk with the corporation's board chairman Geoffrey Mang'uriu to clear any doubts of arm-twisting of witnesses..

    Public Works assistant minister Mwangi Kiunjuri rattled the committee members as he insisted that another MP --whom he did not name despite a push from the committee to name the legislator-had approached him saying "money was flowing into the committee".

    The MPs in the meeting Silas Ruteere (Imenti North) and Mr Benedict Gunda (Bahari) said they were angry that Mr Kiunjuri had labeled the committee "corrupt", yet they were not.

    Mr Kiunjuri dared the committee that he won't be intimidated and said that he'll keep on making the allegations, fully knowing that he was in breach of the Standing Orders. He threatened the committee that he was going to write to the powerful Powers and Privileges Committee asking it to investigate the claims of bribery among the committee members.

    Mr Kiunjuri also raised the issue of bias in the committee's focus at the gross anomalies in the construction of Umaa Dam in Kitui County.

    The committee had to repeatedly tell the assistant minister that they've gone through all dams and it is at Umaa Dam, which seems to be licking funds from the government without matching progress on the ground.

    Mr Kiunjuri, a former assistant Water minister, who blew the whistle on massive irregularities in procurement at the Ministry, set the tone of the meeting when he accused the committee chairman Mr Mutava Musyimi of being a director in a company, in which a relative of beleaguered Water Minister Charity Ngilu, also sits.

    Mr Musyimi said he had since resigned from the company and sold his shares after Mr Kiunjuri raised the matter –to free him from conflict of interest.

    The assistant minister charged that the committee had handled some of the witnesses "with kid gloves while others were handled with iron fists".

    He appeared to slight the MPs' knowledge of the Standing Orders and experience in committee business telling them that he's been in Parliament for over 14 years and that he knew all the rules.

    "I cannot be harassed; I cannot be intimidated. I have been in this game for 14 years," said Mr Kiunjuri.

    Mr Musyimi had to step in and issue a stern warning to the minister to watch his tongue because he was "making it extremely difficult" for the committee to continue listening to him.

    "You started by telling lies about the chairman, we cannot let you to go on," said Mr Musyimi who later withdrew the word "lies" and replaced it with "terminological inexactitude". Parliament's rules don't allow the word "lies" in its records.

    But Mr Kiunjuri said that the committee had "peddled rumours" about a Sh1 million donation to his GNU party by Ms Mungai, and so "rumours have to be met with rumours".

    Mr Kiunjuri appeared piqued by the committee's finding that he was a golfing buddy of the chairman and a director of the NWC and PC, and also played golf with a partner in the contracting firm that had sought Sh652 million top-up in the construction of Umaa Dam.

    He went ahead to tell the committee that the three –the chairman of NWC&PC Mr Mang'uriu, the director Stanley Gikandi, and a key shareholder in the firm that won the Umaa Dam construction contract, Ms Mary Mungai, were "his friends for over 10 years".

    "They are my friends and they'll not cease being my friends just because they work at the National Water Conservation and Pipeline Corporation. I am not ashamed of my friends. If they're caught, I'll say crucify them," said Mr Kiunjuri.

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