Politicians on EACC blacklist say agency serving rivals’ agenda

Politicians whose names have been forwarded to the electoral body by the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission for failing the integrity test have hit out at the anti-graft agency, saying their opponents are using it to discredit them

The commission submitted 106 names of candidates for various elective positions to the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission, saying they should be barred from contesting in this year’s General Election.

The EACC report consist of 16 gubernatorial, four senatorial and three woman representative candidates who are among the 105 whose fate still hangs in the balance as the IEBC moves to enforce the Chapter Six requirements on leadership and integrity.

The EACC report also has 25 candidates for member of National Assembly and 37 for member of county assembly, either under investigation, having pending cases or having been convicted.

The charges for the candidates in the EACC report range from abuse of office, misuse of public funds, money laundering, bribery, conflict of interest, falsification of academic papers and obstruction of lawful authority and destruction of evidence.

Already, the IEBC has knocked off Chitavi Antony Mkalla who was eyeing the Mombasa gubernatorial seat on Cyrus Jirongo’s United Democratic Party.

‘BE BARRED’

“During its plenary meeting held on May 30, the commission considered the list submitted by the EACC and resolved as follows: Mr Chitavi Antony Mkalla from Mombasa County, vying for Mombasa gubernatorial position, shall be barred from participating in the next elections,” IEBC chairman Wafula Chebukati said in a statement.

According to the EACC report, Mr Chitavi who was previously an employee of Mombasa Water and Sewerage Company was charged and convicted for flouting tendering procedures in the award of a medical insurance cover.

“Investigations established that the candidate was culpable and was charged in CF MSA ACC 2/2009 and convicted on December 15, 2011, for the offence and sentenced to imprisonment for three years or a fine of Sh800,000. He paid the fine. There was no appeal,” the EACC report states.

But some politicians whose names are in the list hit out at the EACC for being used by their opponents to drive a nefarious agenda.

Nairobi Governor Evans Kidero who is accused of abuse of office, money laundering, bribery, conflict of interest, unlawful acquisition of public funds amounting to Sh193 million and dealing in suspect funds amounting to Sh700 million charged that the EACC was trying to play politics with issues of integrity in order to lock out certain politicians from the August 8 polls.

NO INVESTIGATIONS

Addressing the media on Saturday at Mwangaza Seventh Day Adventist Church in Kayole, Nairobi, Dr Kidero said there are no investigations going on against him and that three weeks ago he received clearance from the anti-corruption agency giving him a clean bill of health.

“It has come to my attention that EACC has given a document to IEBC with my name claiming that I have got issues with integrity. They are playing politics because three weeks ago I got my letter of clearance from the same agency.

“I am unaware of any investigations and neither have I been charged in a court of law and according to fair administration of justice, if you are being investigated you need to be told and served,” said Dr Kidero.

He said that apart from the clearance from the EACC, he also has clearance from Kenya Revenue Authority, a certificate of good conduct from the Directorate of Criminal Investigations and so he reads mischief in the continued trailing by the agency terming it a political witch hunt.

Governor Kidero claimed that the agency was working at the behest of their masters who were hell bent to see him out of the coming general elections saying that accusations that have been levelled against him do not hold water.

‘REAL SENSE’

“They were accusing me that my foundation had Sh2.7 billion where in real sense my foundation had only Sh44,306.60 at the time. As a professional institution they need to verify any information before they go public with it,” he said.

Machakos Governor Alfred Mutua who has been accused of abuse of office in the purchase of second hand vehicles valued at Sh47 million for the county accused the EACC of “engaging in political fishing expedition”.

“I have not been charged in any court over corruption allegations and I have been cleared by IEBC,” he said through his spokesman Mutinda Mwanzia.

The EACC is also accusing Meru Governor Peter Munya of abuse of office and misuse of public funds to the tune of Sh429,503.

 “We take those as politics. Its pure propaganda. If there was such a case, how could the governor been cleared by IEBC to defend his seat?” Mr Munya’s aide said.

Governor Okoth Obado who will be flying the ODM flag in Migori also said that all the audit queries that were raised against him had long been cleared and he therefore does not understand where the EACC is coming up with claims of theft of Sh2.7 billion.

“There is no embezzlement of funds in this office and all audit queries had been answered. All the tenders were done procedurally,” his spokesman Nicholas Anyuor said.

RALLY SCUFFLE

Besides the alleged theft, Governor Obado is also accused of being involved in a scuffle in a public rally for which ODM fined him Sh2 million.

Others in the list termed the accusations against them as “just for nuisance value” arguing that the EACC was being used to derail their campaigns.

The other gubernatorial candidates in the EACC report are Mike Sonko (Nairobi), Mwangi wa Iria(Murang’a), Nathif Jama (Garissa), Waithaka Mwangi (Nyandarua), Cornel Rasanga (Siaya), Sospeter Ojaamong (Busia), Godana Doyo (Isiolo), Anne Waiguru (Kirinyaga) Granton Samboja (Taita Taveta), Hassan Noor (Mandera), Chris Obure (Kisii) and Thuo Mathenge (Nyeri).

Mr Samboja is accused of forging his KCSE results, diploma and degree certificates. He is also accused of presenting the forged certificates to Kenyatta University for enrolment for a masters degree.

The senatorial candidates in the report are Diriye Abdulahi (Wajir), David Sifuna (Trans Nzoia), Kiriiro Kiambi (Tharaka Nithi) and Mithika Linturi (Meru).

On the other hand, the EACC says that Anne Waiguru’s (Kirinyaga gubernatirial candidate) case in the NYS scandal is still under investigation, and the commission has received allegations of embezzlement and misappropriation of funds through inflated procurement at the Ministry of Devolution and Planning. The EACC also says it is looking into the Public Accounts Committee special audit report of May 20 which recommended that Ms Waiguru be barred from holding from holding office.

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