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.