Raila Odinga defends ODM Party for Covid-19 funds theft

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Raila Odinga defends ODM Party for Covid-19 funds theft

Raila Odinga defends ODM Party for Covid-19Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) leader Raila Odinga on Monday defended his party’s position on the alleged theft of Covid-19 billions, saying his call for a forensic audit was not a defence of the suspects.

In a statement, Mr Odinga said a special audit of Covid-19 funds was the only way for Kenyans to know the whole truth.

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He also noted that the party will not defend anyone, including members or relatives and friends of ODM officials if found to have benefitted from funds and other resources meant for fighting the coronavirus pandemic.

“It is with this background in mind that ODM wants a speedy professional audit that can lead to prosecution instead of a political shouting match that creates more confusion and end up clouding the issues and even covering up for the thieves,” Mr Odinga said.

A previous statement by ODM, signed by secretary general Edwin Sifuna, criticised the coming in of the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) to investigate the Kenya Medical Supplies Agency (Kemsa), a process they said should only happen after an audit.

ODM also criticised the media, saying a “precedent has been set before, where the media goes on a sensationalist extravaganza, with half-baked information obtained from shadowy sources, ending up creating more problems than solutions.”

The statement has been read by some, including Deputy President William Ruto, to mean that the party was not in favour of a Covid-19 funds probe.

“The pretentious (former) opposition, now turned lords of corruption, attempted defence of the Covid-19 grand larceny is not shocking. It confirms the worst of Kenyan’s fears that their side of Handshake was never interested in the people’s good but opportunity to loot. What a shame,” the DP tweeted on Sunday.

In his statement on Monday, Mr Odinga said ODM’s stand against graft was unwavering.

“ODM will not defend anyone, including members or relatives and friends of its officials, found to have benefitted from funds and other resources meant for fighting the coronavirus pandemic,” Mr Odinga said.

Here is his statement in full: 

The Orange Democratic Movement’s record of commitment to fighting corruption and safeguarding public resources is well documented. ODM never did and never will tolerate corruption in all its manifestations, no matter who is involved.

The position of the party in the current allegations of corruption in Covid-19 related resources is that the government needs to conduct a thorough and urgent audit of all the funds that have been put at the disposal of various state agencies, departments and ministries to fight the pandemic with a view to establishing the facts on usage of such resources.

ODM has always advocated this systematic approach to fighting corruption. In the Grand Coalition Government, the party successfully pushed for the systematic audit of the sale of Grand Regency Hotel and attendant consequences. ODM pushed for the systematic audit of Anglo Leasing Scandal by Kroll and Associates, leading to appropriate legal action on culprits.

When the Maize Scandal erupted, ODM pushed for the appointment of PricewaterhouseCoopers to audit the matter, leading to appropriate action against culprits. A special audit also led to convictions in the Sh283 million Nairobi cemetery scam.

This approach has worked well in the recent past. In the case of Arror and Kimwarer dams, the truth was established when the Auditor-General conducted a special audit of the Sh60 billion dams whose procurement and financing had caused public outrage.

Law enforcement agencies and prosecutors around the world were allowed to work with local investigators to assist with financial analysis, tracing funds and investigating money laundering.
It led to a solid case that resulted in arrests and suspensions. The truth through special audit came after a spirited effort by politicians to mislead the country at many press conferences and public rallies that no money had been lost.

A similar approach worked with regard to the National Youth Service scam where in 2016, the office of the Auditor General was able to establish that Kenyan taxpayers lost Ksh1.9 billion in the scandal and proceeded to identify the principal beneficiaries of the theft. On the basis of that audit, suspects were arraigned in court.

As matters stand now, none of the people taking to the podium or social media to condemn theft of funds has any evidence. The so-called condemnations of theft could well be part of a cover-up.

Our experience in this country is that the best way to bungle and cover up corruption investigations is to have many different voices each with its own version of truth. We saw that noise with regard to Arror and Kimwarer dams and the NYS scams, among others.

It is with this background in mind that  ODM wants a speedy professional audit that can lead to prosecution instead of a political shouting match that creates more confusion and end up clouding the issues and even covering up for the thieves.

ODM will not defend anyone, including members or relatives and friends of its officials, found to have benefitted from funds and other resources meant for fighting the coronavirus pandemic.

H.E. RAILA ODINGA; EGH
PARTY LEADER
THE ORANGE DEMOCRATIC MOVEMENT

By Patrick Lang’at

Source-https://www.nation.co.ke/

1 Comment
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    […] Raila Odinga defends ODM Party for Covid-19 funds theft — Diaspora Messenger News Media […]

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