Raila, 30 Jubilee MPs in battle over Waiguru

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JubileeCord leader Raila Odinga Wednesday challenged Devolution Cabinet Secretary Anne Waiguru to sue him over the National Youth Service corruption saga as over 30 MPs came to her defence.

Mr Odinga said he was not afraid of being taken to court and warned that Ms Waiguru would regret such a move.

“I have never been afraid of court battles because I stand for the truth. I did not defame her or abuse her, I only talked the truth,” he said at a breakfast meeting with members of the Editors’ Guild at the Stanley Hotel in Nairobi.

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However, at Parliament buildings, 20 MPs from across the political divide dismissed those pushing for Ms Waiguru’s resignation in the wake of revelations that Sh791 million had been lost through fraudulent transactions in her ministry.

Saying that they were representing another 71 MPs who had benefited from various NYS programmes, the legislators said it was wrong to vilify the CS who last week raised the red flag on the fraudulent transactions.

“The NYS programme should be maintained and sustained and should be spread throughout the country so that all the 290 constituencies receive this programme,” they said in a statement read by Kitutu Chache South MP Richard Onyonka.

“The CS has come out and initially said she had invited the CID and the report has come out and the DPP has taken over. So we should wait for the DPP’s action.”

MPS DEFEND WAIGURU

And in Murang’a County, where President Uhuru Kenyatta presented title deeds to Kihiu Mwiri land owners, some of the MPs who addressed the gathering defended Ms Waiguru from corruption allegations, saying she was a whistle-blower who deserved protection, not prosecution.

They said that Mr Odinga was adversely mentioned in connection with loss of Kazi kwa Vijana funds when he was Prime Minister but did not step aside.

“Why is he applying double standards?” asked Kabete MP Ferdinand Waititu.

Murang’a Woman Rep Sabina Chege threatened to organise demonstrations against the Cord leader for what she termed as defamation of the Cabinet Secretary.

Samburu Woman Representative Maison Leshomo and Murang’a Senator Mr Kembi Gitura also asked Ms Waiguru not to step down and instead expand the NYS programme to more counties.

The President steered clear of the NYS issue only bursting out in laughter when the crowd cheered MPs asking Ms Waiguru not to step aside.

Mr Odinga and the MPs spoke a day after Ms Waiguru threatened to sue the Cord leader for linking her to the corruption scandal during a rally he held in Kibera on Sunday.

Two days later, the CS through her lawyers, Mohammed Muigai Advocates, demanded an “unconditional apology” from Mr Odinga and asked him not to repeat the claims, failure to which she would pursue damages against him.

However, Mr Odinga through his lawyer, Mr Paul Mwangi, said there would be no apology.
Mr Odinga insisted Ms Waiguru must step aside following the fraud revelations which has led to the suspension of 24 officials.

PROSECUTE OFFICERS

The Director of Criminal Investigations has recommended that the officers be prosecuted over the scandal and the Director of Public Prosecution, Mr Keriako Tobiko, on Monday said he was reviewing the files to determine what action to take against them.

Mr Odinga Wednesday said he had no vendetta against Ms Waiguru but wants her held accountable for loss of the millions of shillings.

“We were called names when we said money was lost… What was her interest in misleading the public?” he asked.

He also questioned why Ms Waiguru released the report on the investigations on the NYS saga and not the DCI director, Mr Muhoro Ndegwa, who conducted the inquiry.

However, speaking at Parliament Buildings in Ms Waiguru’s defence, Runyenjes MP Cecily Mbarire said: “An investigation was prompted by the CS and a report is out.”

Kajiado West MP Moses ole Sakuda said they would not allow the NYS programmes in their constituencies to be politicised because they had benefited many youths.

“This is not like the Kazi Kwa Vijana programme because it benefits those who actually work,” he said.

On Tuesday night, seven MP allied to Jubilee had also defend Ms Waiguru and asked Mr Odinga to stop targeting her.

They spoke at Madaraka Gardens in Kiambu Town during the graduation of recovering alcohol addicts.

Reported by Samwel Karanja, Guchu Ndung’u, Jeremiah Kiplangat and Eric Wainaina

-nation.co.ke

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