Ethics team is harassing me for sponsoring Bill, says MP

Lawmakers yesterday put the anti-corruption commission on the spot after Kiminini MP Chris Wamalwa claimed it was harassing him for sponsoring a Bill to disband its secretariat.

The National Assembly’s Justice and Constitutional Affairs committee said it would investigate the matter. Mr Wamalwa had claimed the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission was pursuing him for introducing a Bill to have its secretariat, led by Mr Halakhe Waqo, sent home.

But in a letter to the committee chairman Samwel Chepkong’a, Mr Waqo said his team was not investigating the MP nor had it launched any inquiry into the affairs of the Kiminini Constituency Development Fund.

He said Mr Wamalwa’s claims were “false, malicious and with ulterior motive best known only to the member of Parliament”.

The commission and Parliament went on the warpath when the former started investigating Nandi Hills MP Alfred Keter and nominated MP Sonia Birdi for abuse of office.

The two were accused of intimidating weighbridge officials at Gilgil.

The EACC has also been investigating the National Assembly’s Agriculture committee for alleged corruption.

It also recommended the prosecution of Lamu West MP Julius Ndegwa for misuse of CDF. He has since been charged with corruption.

Mr Wamalwa’s amendment was approved by the House, receiving support from across the divide in the House.

The support by the government side was seen as an attempt to help Cabinet secretaries implicated in corruption by the report that President Kenyatta presented to Parliament.

Following Parliament’s approval of the amendment, the fate of Mr Waqo and his deputy, Mr Michael Mubea, lies with the President, who may sign or reject the Bill.

Yesterday, MPs came to Mr Wamalwa’s defence after he rose on a point of order to declare he was being harassed and intimidated and that his tribulations were because of his initiating the amendment.

“EACC officers have been to my CDF office, harassing workers on claims that they were investigating corruption,” he told the House. “This is witch- hunt because there has been no official complaint there was corruption in the management of the CDF kitty.”

Mr Chepkong’a said the complaint was an indication that MPs were at the mercy of outside forces that were pursuing them for exercising their mandate.

He said his committee, which exercises oversight over the commission, would take up the matter.