All eyes are on Uhuru team to unravel scam

The Parliamentary Accounts Committee (PAC) led by Leader of Official Opposition, Uhuru Kenyatta, jetted into the country on Friday after a trip to Lon­don where they received evidence from former Ethics Permanent Sec­re­tary, John Githongo, on Anglo Leasing scan­dal.

PAC has managed to keep evidence received from Githongo away from the nosy media in London only giving vague statements about what Githongo said. The team also de­cided to compile its report abroad to avoid unnec­essary dis­tractions they may be sub­jected to while in Kenya.

Now that the team is back, all eyes are set on it to help solve the puzzle of Anglo Leasing that is threatening the stability and future of Presi­dent Mwai Kibaki’s gov­ernment.

This is not the first time that a parliamentary committee is handling the Anglo Leasing issue. The pre­vious PAC led by South Mugirango MP, Omingo Magara, in­ves­ti­gated the scan­dal in 2004 and presented its report to Par­liament, but it was rejected after successful amendments to delete cer­tain para­graphs from it.

Unlike the previous team that summoned some of those involved while still in office, Uhuru’s team is undertaking the work when a good number of those implicated have stepped aside, leaving them with a free hand in the in­ves­ti­gations.

Speaking to Githongo while not on oath of office also gave them ad­van­tage of extracting valuable information that may have been kept away from the previous team. In the next few days, the team is expected to begin piecing together evidence from those implicated by Githongo and other people who dare to speak on the matter.

Obviously a lot of interests are at play on the matter and the team will find it difficult continuing with its work in the country given the attention it will attract and ex­pected machi­nations by those involved to subvert the cause of their work.

Before, there have been claims of individuals com­pro­mising MPs sitting in parliamentary committees to ma­nipu­late their reports. There have also been cases where members work to­gether only to disagree at the last minute when they begin pushing for the interests of their masters to be factored into the findings or recommendations of such reports.

So far we have not witnessed any of the above cases with the Uhuru team and we hope they will stay above trivi­alities that lead to such cases and concentrate on the noble duty of watching against plunder of public re­sources by government officials.

All that we ask is that they be diligent, accountable and single-mindedly pursue their job so that their reports do not suffer the same fate as previous ones. They must justify their budget to London by com­piling a report that will stand the test of time and help Ken­yans dis­man­tle corruption network.

Heed envoy’s advice

THAT Kenya‘s experiments with a coa­lition gov­ernment have become a cropper cannot be gain­said. Though the National Rainbow Coa­lition, Narc, was expected by many to pro­vide so­lutions to political problems facing the coun­try, the idea has become a very big dis­appointment.

No sooner had the Coalition been elected to office than its members began quarrelling over an unfulfilled power sharing Memo­ran­dum of Understanding (MoU), plunging the country into political instability that continue to de­fine Presi­dent Mwai Kibaki’s rule.

Many of Kibaki’s failures has been attributed to its inabil­ity to control the coalition which has since dis­in­te­grated with the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) quitting and joining the Oppo­sition. Though the coun­try is certain to be governed by coa­litions in future, nobody would like to go through the same ex­pe­riences we have had with Narc.

This is why we support advise by the outgoing German envoy, Bernd Braun, that the country should go slow on pre-election alliances. En­tering into coalition arrangements after elections is the only way to ensure they are formed on a basis of written agreements that bind leaders.

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Patrick Mahinge

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