Bribery claims, doctored reports rock Ababu Namwamba-led watchdog committee

Kenya: Claims of bribery, and doctored and leaked reports yesterday dominated a tense meeting of the Public Accounts Committee ( PAC) at Parliament Buildings in Nairobi.

The MPs put aside their agenda after one of the MPs ambushed PAC chairman Ababu Namwamba (pictured) with a request to discuss his conduct and that of vice chairperson Cecily Mbarire. They also discussed a report in the Nairobi Law Monthly magazine that claimed to have evidence of how the MPs took millions of shillings in bribes in order to change the recommendations of a certain report.

The Opposition-led watchdog committee, with a majority of members from Jubilee, is divided over the content of some of the investigatory reports that are yet to be concluded, among them the ones involving the Judiciary, procurement of a luxury jet for the Deputy President and the Biometric Voter Registration kits.

The Standard has pieced together details of the meeting following a series of off-the-record interviews with multiple MPs who attended the meeting. The MPs’ verdict was that they had lost faith in their chairman and some of their colleagues; some for taking bribes, others for refusing to execute the deal as per the bribes and others for speaking to outsiders about the bribery within the committee.

Some MPs are also under siege because they admitted to have carried bribes from some of those adversely mentioned to PAC.

“We know one MP gave out at least Sh4 million to have a report altered. Another one brought Sh10 million to have another report that is already in the House changed in favour of some of those who were adversely mentioned. Those are some of the things that came up,” said an MP who sought anonymity because he did not want to antagonise his colleagues.

All the MPs who sit on the committee attended the closed-door meeting but vowed to remain tight-lipped about the face-off. The allegations were so serious and shameful to the MPs that at one point, they kicked the committee clerks out and remained inside to slug it out.

Another MP is said to have taken money from the Office of the President to have some of the reports that have been tabled altered. But because the bribe money was taken and no alteration was made to the report, the MPs are now targeting their colleagues who shortchanged them.

“Mbarire felt aggrieved. She brought the matter in the Nairobi Law Monthly to the attention of the committee because the matter brought into disrepute the leadership of the whole committee,” said an MP.

The MPs decided to summon Nairobi Law Monthly publisher Ahmednassir Abdullahi to shed light on the allegations.

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