Monday, January 26, 2009



Saturday, January 24 2009

The government is headed for a showdown with MPs who disavowed former Finance minister Amos Kimunya who has been reinstated to the Cabinet as Trade minister.

MPs are digging in for a fight in Parliament as it has emerged that Mr Kimunya came under serious criticism by the Cockar Commission over the sale of the Grand Regency (now Laico Regency) hotel.

The Sunday Nation has seen the report, yet to be made public, in which the commissioners recommend that Mr Kimunya take responsibility for the controversial sale of the hotel.

All indications are that MPs are not willing to let their no confidence vote last year go to waste following Mr Kimunya’s return to the Cabinet last Friday.

A no-confidence vote against an MP or a negative report from a commission of inquiry are not binding on the President when making Cabinet appointments.

A number of MPs interviewed by the Sunday Nation indicated that they would ask House Speaker Kenneth Marende to block the minister from accessing the floor of the House in his new capacity. Mr Kimunya left the Treasury in acrimonious circumstances last year following the no-confidence vote.

On Saturday the MPs said they lost confidence in Mr Kimunya’s conduct of affairs at the Treasury and would not allow him to take up the new post. Lawyers also shared these sentiments and said President Kibaki had acted in contempt of Parliament and the public.

Mr Kimunya kept a low profile and could not be reached when we attempted to contact him. A message left on his cell phone voice box had not been returned by the time we went to press last night.

“By returning Kimunya to the Cabinet in cynical disregard for Parliament, public sentiment and prudent counsel, Kibaki has enacted the scene for an intriguing duel pitting executive insolence against parliamentary authority and popular will,” ODM parliamentary group secretary Ababu Namwamba said.

But assistant minister Mwangi Kiunjuri supported Mr Kimunya’s reappointment to the Cabinet while calling for the sacking of leaders implicated in corruption so that Kenyans can have faith in the Grand Coalition government.

100 per cent clean

“There is no politician who can claim to be 100 per cent clean, and Kenyans would not have been satisfied regardless of whoever could have been appointed in Mr Kimunya’s position. The best thing is to let the Trade minister do his work since he was not directly implicated in the scandal (Grand Regency saga),” he said.

The Laikipia East MP asked the relevant institutions empowered to fight graft to act fast and bring the culprits to book.

Mr Kiunjuri said Kenyans were getting disillusioned with the government’s lack of commitment to fight corruption following revelations that some of his colleagues were implicated in maize and oil scandals.

“We have only been hearing threats from Kenya Anti-Corruption Commission and the Attorney-General that corrupt individuals will be arraigned in court, but we are yet to see any action,” said the leader of Grand National Union party.

He added that now that ministers from both the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) and Party of National Unity (PNU) are under suspicion of taking part in shoddy deals, they should be fired and prosecuted.

“As leaders we should own up to our actions, and this is the only way that we shall redeem the image of the coalition government which continues to be dented day after day,” the MP said.
Parliamentary Public Accounts Committee chairman and Ikolomani MP Bonny Khalwale said Mr Kimunya’s return to the Cabinet was a blow to the war against graft in the government.

Mr Khalwale, who moved the no-confidence motion against Mr Kimunya, said it was a big mistake for the President to reinstate the minister before Parliament had discussed the Okemo report.

“It is also absurd that President Kibaki decided to appoint Mr Kimunya back to the Cabinet even before the report of the Cockar Commission of Inquiry into the sale of the former Grand Regency hotel is made public,” he said.

The report was tabled in Parliament but not discussed before Parliament adjourned for the holidays.

Musical chairs

“What has happened now is a game of musical chairs,” he said. “The public should not expect any end to the plethora of scandals that are going on in the government.”

Mr Khalwale said MPs in the self-styled grand opposition would meet to consider three scenarios: whether to cooperate with government, to work to shoot down government business in Parliament or to petition the Speaker to rule on the authority of the House vis-a-vis the Executive.

Imenti Central MP Gitobu Imanyara said MPs would ask the Speaker to assert the authority of Parliament.

“Mr Kimunya lost the confidence of the House over the manner in which he handled the sale of the Grand Regency hotel, and we will ask the Speaker to protect the integrity of Parliament,” Mr Imanyara told the Sunday Nation.

He said it was surprising that the President had chosen to move against the wishes of Parliament of which he is a member. He said the situation was also aggravated by the President’s failure to make public the findings of the Cockar commission that investigated the hotel sale.

Mr Kimunya resigned from the Finance portfolio after Parliament passed a vote of no confidence in him last year.

A report by the Parliamentary Committee on Finance, Trade and Planning chaired by Nambale MP Chris Okemo urged the President not to reappoint Mr Kimunya.

“The committee recommends to the appointing authority (the President) that he be advised that the conduct of Amos Kimunya is not compatible with that of a minister,” the report read in part.

The Kipipiri MP was accused of having told the committee on May 21 that the hotel had not been sold when evidence showed that the Libyan Africa Investment Company had paid Sh290 million -- 10 per cent of the total cost of Sh2.9 billion -- on May 8.

Although he was indicted by the Parliamentary Committee on Finance following the controversial sale of the hotel, Mr Kimunya will have to face the same MPs who forced his ouster, but this time in a different docket.

The return of Mr Kimunya to the Cabinet comes at a time when the government is faced with two multi-billion-shilling scandals in the food and oil sectors. The two are said to have cost the country over Sh8 billion.

Former Kabete MP and lawyer Paul Muite called on Parliament to assert its authority by blocking the move by President Kibaki to permit the minister to transact government business in Parliament.

Abuse of office

“The President has treated Kenyans with contempt and arrogance which can also be interpreted to be abuse of office. He appointed a commission to investigate the saga using taxpayers’ money, and yet he has refused to make the findings public,” said Mr Muite.

Eldama Ravine MP Musa Lessonnet (ODM) said the move was a gesture by the coalition government to disregard good governance.

“There are many people in President Kibaki’s own wing who are not tainted and are equally qualified ... let’s see how Mr Kimunya pulls through in Parliament,” Mr Lessonnet said.

Related Stories

Grand Regency saga: The verdict
Cockar report: Grand Regency transaction was not transparent
Kimunya didn’t give Kenyans the full picture: report
Grand Regency sale was ‘secret and hasty’
Top CBK officials ‘rushed hotel sale’
However, Molo MP Joseph Kiuna defended Mr Kimunya’s reappointment, arguing that the President and the PM could not have given him back his job if he were guilty.

“The President and the Prime Minister must have read the report and concluded that there was no reason for him not to be a minister,” Mr Kiuna told the Sunday Nation.

Mr Otiende Amolo, a council member of the Law Society of Kenya, said the appointment was a signal that there is no commitment from the government in the fight against corruption.

Mr Amolo said there was a “clear contradiction” between what the Cockar report said and what President Kibaki has done.

The lawyer noted that if there was a confidence issue in Mr Kimunya, then President Kibaki should have given the Finance docket back to him.

Florence Jacko, chair of the Kenya National Human Rights Commission, said Mr Kimunya’s re-appointment was “unfair to Kenyans” when the contents of the Cockar report remained secret.

Ms Jaoko said pertinent questions regarding the role of Mr Kimunya in the sale have not been answered, yet the President brought him back. “How does Mr Kimunya explain his resignation and his re-appointment ... in governance, this is just very wrong,” she said.

These views were shared by the chief executive of the National Convention Executive Council (NCEC) Cyprian Nyamwamu. “These two no longer care, they have flagrantly disregarded the wishes of the people to fight corruption and end impunity,” he said. “They must be held responsible. It is not Mr Kimunya’s mistake to have been be appointed.”

The NCEC boss criticised the coalition government for acting “as if it was elected” yet it was a “ just settlement to implement the National Accord.”
Additional reporting by Kenneth Ogosia and John Shilitsa


Submitted by wamunugu
Posted January 26, 2009

The issue here is the taxation of MPS. Kenyans, let us decide to only talk to tax compliant individuals(including MPs). Every one should pay tax unless their income is below the tax brackets. The salaries of MPs should be reduced to the level where our economy can support. We are being cheated as usual.

Submitted by caseka58
Posted January 25, 2009

Gathoni (commentator) you miss the point. Reform has to start somewhere and should be boundless except on sound leadership, transparency and efficient delivery of public service. To me any public officer who fails to address these is unfit to hold public office. Clearly, Kimunya's integrity has been questioned by fellow MPs and the Cockar commission. He has no business serving in cabinet.I do not care whether it is Ruto or Kiraitu, ODM or PNU tommorow but as long as they do not satisfy the expectations I aforementioned they should go home and it has to be fast!

Submitted by nani_ngombe
Posted January 25, 2009

Juakakathevillager: Foremost, Integrity in Leadership is when Kimunya turns down the cabinet offer citing Investigations and the motion of no confidence on him. However, we are yet to evolve to that stage. Our genes are still different. Please do not lump Odingaism together with these losers. Read 'Not Yet Uhuru' or find Prof Mazrui to interpret it for you and tell me what you think. Remember the words: 'No Uhuru without Kenyatta'. What was the reward?

Submitted by somoinaa
Posted January 25, 2009

I reject this tired notion that bushing a kikuyu for whatever reason is justifiable. Should we all adopt the primitivity of lynching our opponents for real and imaginary wrongs? What, pray, is the rationale of Justice in this hyped and messy tribal chicanery? Do you wonder the damage this is causing our children? Stop this nonsense, in the Name of God!!

Submitted by gathoni
Posted January 25, 2009

Kimunya is no worse than those sitting in parliament, with hands dyed red with the blood of children who starve to death, of PEV victims, of oil scandals, of the many drug addicts youths in Kenya. They should all leave or reform.

Submitted by yesuwangu
Posted January 25, 2009

Former Finance ministers Mwai Kibaki 1978-1981 George Saitoti Wycliffe Musalia Mudavadi Simeon Nyachae Daudi Mwiraria 2002-2006 Amos Kimunya 2006-2008 John Michuki 2008-2009jan Uhuru Kenyatta 2009-now among these men who has ever done a recomendable Jjob.since the job belongs to them Money will always disappear

Submitted by carolo
Posted January 25, 2009

For those claiming the commission cleared Kimunya, where in this statement indicates he was? "The Sunday Nation has seen the report, ..., in which the commissioners recommend that Mr Kimunya take responsibility for the controversial sale of the hotel". He may be a scapegoat but he ain't innocent. That was a shoddy deal and just hasn't been served. Yes, we have many corrupt leaders but the only way to clean the govt is to kick them out one by one for their illegal dealings

Submitted by manmanu
Posted January 25, 2009

l have always maintained that kibaki is the commander in chief of corruption. l am yet to be convinced that all this shady deals are done "behind his back". l am sure all leads will come to kibaki at the end of the day. he is the president how come he does not know what is going on arround him?The grand regency sale has his fingure prints all over it!He sure does know what went on. He is corrupt and is gaining from the scandals. he should resign.

Submitted by jaukakathevillager
Posted January 25, 2009

Kenyans should mark Obama's words.Let us identify people or families that are on the wrong side of our history.Let 2012 be the beginning of what I can confidently call the Kenyan purge. Here is a list of families that have brought Kenya to its current pathetic situation and now belong to the wrong side of our history: Odinga, Kenyatta, Mudavadi, Moi, Ruto,Saitoti,Jirongo,Pattni.Let's cut this umbilical cord.

Submitted by gathoni
Posted January 25, 2009

Maybe it´s unfair that Kimunya has been returned to office because he is involved in some scandal, but many other MPs are involved either in drug trafficking pumping youths with drugs, in food scandals, in oil scandals etc.. We need a complete new set of worthy leaders.

Submitted by Lilyen
Posted January 25, 2009

Oh Kenyans, oh Kenyans, heal from selective amnesia! To use military speak, SNAFU!

Submitted by jaukakathevillager
Posted January 25, 2009

Our leaders are liars.I watched Kimunya utter the Kipipiri declaration - I'll rather die than resign'.He didn't die.He resigned.I pray that we will soon get leaders who will rather die for us than lie to us.The axe is already set, heads will start rolling 2012, with or without Kibaki's or Raila's support.God will help us rid Kenya of leaders who are on the wrong side of our history.Amen.

Submitted by Daniel08
Posted January 25, 2009

Kimunya was cleared and resigned to allow investigatuins. Now the same Mps should do the same and require Raila and Ruto to resign to allow an investigation on Oil and Maize scandal.

Submitted by kj474
Posted January 25, 2009

Namwamba and others who are fighting Kimunya's reappointment are not being honest with Kenyans. Implication does not and has never meant guilt in any fair judicial system. An independent commission cleared Kimunya. So it means they are targeting him for other reasons than the Grand Regency saga.

Submitted by kizmax
Posted January 25, 2009

A former Prime Minister of China once told Nyerere, "Africa is ripe for revolution." Nyerere came back to TZ, kicked out all the bourgeoisie from the system and instituted the Arusha Declaration effectively snatching all land from the greedy and holding it in trust for the people of TZ under the govt and planted seeds for a nationalism we envy to this date. Listen to the words of Chou En Lai for they are timeless.

Submitted by syindumyaki
Posted January 25, 2009

the president is taking this nation forgranted. the MP'S shd vote him out be4 he sells us to Qatar.

Submitted by PMM75
Posted January 25, 2009

Kenyans need to end culture of mob justice. We also need to start digging for facts and so is the media. Being accused doesnt mean one is guilty.

Submitted by Chiawelo
Posted January 25, 2009

Kenyans and our MPs remind me of the guy who had an elephant on his head but picked a fight with a grasshopper; totally out of focus.

Submitted by scanfish
Posted January 25, 2009

You media people need to overcome your cowardice and point out to the public the contradiction when Namwamba and Khalwale censure Kimunya in parliament but not Ruto. Very irresponsible.

Submitted by karabu
Posted January 25, 2009

Kenyans must demand accountability, else we brace ourselves for poverty for enternity. If there was a law for disposal of public property which was ignored, then someone must answer for it. The minister of finance and governor of central bank cannot pass the buck.

Submitted by mzeemoja
Posted January 25, 2009

MP's on getting cabinet appointments never talk, hear or see evil. May be Ababu, Bonny, Gitobu wants to be silenced this way. Pls pay your taxes now.

Submitted by Obwakemwatugul
Posted January 25, 2009

Impunity, in politics and in media, we should be bold to attack what is wrong? Unfortunately, some media houses perpetrate more of the same.

Submitted by frigofnma
Posted January 25, 2009

Kenya needs a serious revolution, we have recycled and are still recycling! What good is this grant coalition when they cannot fight graft? What a shame, Alwanga

Submitted by mwangingamate
Posted January 25, 2009

This is what James Orengo never said. Please let him say this, As a result of the Sale of the hotel Kimunya received shs,x million shared with yand z and that will be convincing. Hot air is not a product that you can sell. Actually it is not a commodity, am told it cant even drive an engine.

Posted January 25, 2009

Khalwale,Ababu and those in their school of thought may not be pleased with the return of Kimunya. I am also not amused. But I am shocked that the Namwabas, the Khalwales and the Gitobu's are not aware that we are are also not at all amused that they are not paying taxes. Let Khalwale use the same route he used to dress Kimunya down. Who knows, may be he has come to go away once and for all, with the entire crop of corrupt, insincere 'honourless' members.

Submitted by ogoli
Posted January 25, 2009

Mr.Kibaki can you justify the re-appointment of Kimunya. The Cocker and parliamentary committees found some fault in his actions at the treasury.Even Uhuru Kenyatta does not deserve the treasury docket for one simple reason, he is part of the problems that Kenya is going through.Sometimes I don't understand the way you run the country and I can't wait for the end of your administration.

Submitted by zhong
Posted January 25, 2009

Kenyans, it is time to know that Kimunya never did this by himself. Rather, the deal was sealed by the president himself. How else can you explain the state to state deal?

Submitted by prcmxnx
Posted January 25, 2009

Shame on you MPs. The commissions ahve done their work and cleared honorable Kimunya. Kenyans were hoping he is going to be reinstated as Minister for Finance to ensure you pay tax. How do you even point a finger when you acnnot even remitt to the government revenue that is legally due. Poor citizens who elect you are paying sales tax while you buy stuff duty free. Stop dirty politics and get sdown to business. Kimunya is qualified and clean.

Submitted by 728430
Posted January 25, 2009

In modern society, once a person has been implicated in these kind of deals, he cannot hold a public office until cleared. In Kenya even suspected murderers are sidelined for a period, once complinants cool down the suspect is returned to office. The MP saying no MP is 100% should be the first to resign, followed by a vote of no confidence in the president

Submitted by InSidious
Posted January 25, 2009

Well, if there is a more compelling reason why Ministers must be vetted by Parliament. No system is better however the lack for checks and balances will allow any President especially one, Kibaki, to exploit every loophole to his advantage.

Submitted by 1nyoike
Posted January 25, 2009

Do we have leaders who really care for our country and are they ready to make sacrifices for themselves for the better of the country? Kenya needs a real executive who is ready to make concessions that might even hurt him politically. Kenya does not belong to 'the chosen few' who are running it now. It's time we saw honest and disciplined leadership. Move over Messrs Kibaki and Raila you have not shown any balls!

Submitted by naliweliwalo
Posted January 24, 2009

Mr Kiunjuri's claim that there is 'no politician who can claim to be 100 per cent clean' means that he himself is not clean. As he goes about demanding for 'culprits to be brought to book', he should also share in his 'uncleanliness' and get himself prosecuted! If he is right, then can only wait till 2012 to bring in clean politicians! Kazi na Maisha Bora Iendelee!

Submitted by yaaalif
Posted January 24, 2009

Unfortunately..... the entire administration is corrupt...shame on you THE GRAND COALITION

Submitted by wuod_aketch
Posted January 24, 2009

The parliament should use it's power mandated on it by the people of Kenya to rid the country of corrupt individuals. A vote of no confidence on the president will do. Kibaki, a man who was not elected to the post he is exercising should be shown where he belongs. Go MPs show Kibaki fire other wise you might as well all pack and go back to your villages.