ICTVILLE

Transcript reveals why Raila Odinga clashed with Ababu Namwamba over PAC

Posted In NEWS, Politics - By admin on Tuesday, March 10th, 2015 With No Comments »
CORD leader Raila Odinga and Secretary General Ababu Namwamba.

CORD leader Raila Odinga and Secretary General Ababu Namwamba.

Opposition leader Raila Odinga clashed with his party’s Secretary General Ababu Namwamba over the accuracy of the billions that were looted from the Office of the President (OP) just before the last General Election.

The source of the rare discord between the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) chief and the Budalang’i MP arose after Namwamba, with the backing of the Auditor General Edward Ouko, insisted that it is Sh2.9 billion of the confidential vote in the OP which had been misappropriated.

“I was so careful in handling this matter that I even disagreed with my own party leader. This annoyed you and my party leader because he had given a figure of Sh15 billion. When I sat here, I said we would not deal with a figure which is not factual,” Namwamba confessed to his Public Accounts Committee ( PAC) colleagues.

It is at that point that he sought the Auditor General’s counsel and the figure was confirmed at Sh2.9 billion. That is according to a transcript of a closed-door meeting of the PAC on the day the MPs failed to marshal evidence of bribery against their chairman and also failed to garner the numbers to kick him out from the helm of the committee.

The transcript; an audio recording of MPs confessing how bribe money was shared and Namwamba’s letter to the Speaker copied to the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission and the Director of Public Prosecutions are some of the primary House records that the Committee on Privileges will use to dig into the corruption in the watchdog committee.

The House records also show that at one point, Namwamba contemplated resignation while on the floor of the House but he decided to fight it out within the committee.

The cache of documents are filed with Moses Cheboi (Kuresoi North), the stand-in chairperson of the Committee on Privileges of the National Assembly which is investigating the allegations of extortion and bribery.

The scrutiny of that cash, Namwamba told the committee, and he maintains in his letter to the authorities is the source of his problems. He believes that because he was the first PAC chairman to lead the committee into the auditing of a confidential vote, he had now been targeted.

“The lords of graft and impunity have been shaken to the bone marrow by this exposure, which is the first time ever. No PAC has ever audited that confidential expenditure. This is the very first time,” said Namwamba in the letter dated February 25, 2015.

He insists that the fightback against PAC and the Auditor General had seen the introduction of what the Auditor General calls ‘a draconian clause’ to bar the audit of confidential votes into the Public Audit Bill, which is awaiting the third reading in the National Assembly.

“This matter gets murkier by revelations that OP mandarins, through PS Mutea Iringo, bribed some members of the committee to influence the PAC Report,” Namwamba added.

The transcript also records Namwamba’s deputy in the hitherto suspended committee, Cecily Mbarire (Runyenjes), revealing panic at OP when the report was tabled because twice, she walked to Namwamba in the House to understand why Iringo’s name was in the report.

“Mutea Iringo called me when I was in the Chamber after seconding the report. He asked me: ‘Why are you people putting me in trouble?’ I thought that on the day I appeared before the committee, we finished everything and it was clear. What I heard was that there would be need for the National Treasury to come up with a way of sorting out confidential expenditure.” Mbarire is quoted in the transcript.

NAMWAMBA BETRAYED

“I went to the chairman right inside the Chamber and told him: Chair, Mr Iringo said this report has fixed him. The Chairman said: No, the person to be investigated is the Chief Finance Officer. I called Mr Iringo and told him: I do not think what you said is true and told him what the committee chairman had said. Iringo said: Once you say something like that, you are obviously saying that I should be investigated. I went ahead and told him: I was not in Mombasa when this report was discussed and adopted but I will discuss with the other members of the committee and get back to you,” Mbarire is quoted.

It is not clear why Iringo was negotiating with the MPs while the report is already in the House, but in one of the letters to the House, Namwamba appears upset that MPs have been discussing his ‘inflexibility’ with State officials behind his back.

In fact, an MP, Omondi Anyanga (Nyatike) is said to have offered to build the bridge in fraternising between Namwamba and those at OP who were under probe.

A tiny article tucked in the pages of an influential magazine, the Nairobi Law Monthly, sparked the avalanche of corruption allegations that led to the suspension and subsequent investigation of the conduct of the members of PAC. The article allegedly pointed at Mbarire as the purveyor of illicit cash to the committee, an allegation she denies.

Mbarire pointed fingers at Namwamba as the source of the story but he denied and Mbarire believed him but by then, the cat was out of the bag.

Mbarire is quoted in the documents telling the MPs that she was not privy to any plan against Namwamba, whom she had pointed out as the source of the magazine article. Namwamba and Sakwa Bunyasi (Nambale) sought to invite the publisher of the magazine, Ahmednassir Abdullahi, but the matter was opposed.

“How this initial allegation against Mbarire swiftly mutated to a full-blown accusation of impropriety against myself was the masterstroke in the grand conspiracy to save her from published allegations, by actually dropping false accusations against me in a cynical, careless unsubstantiated manner that grossly violated Standing Orders,” Namwamba complains in his letter to the Speaker.

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