Parliament’s Accounts Committee (PAC) Chair Ababu Namwamba’s secret recording in which he alleges to have recorded some of his committee members admitting to bribery claims has continued to elicit mixed reactions from Kenyans with some calling for his resignation.
Ababu was first involved in a leadership tussle of PAC where members of his committee accused him of high handedness and taking bribes to influence reports. PAC is the most powerful committee as it audits all public accounts of government. In the recent months it has been investigating tthe IEBC’s conduct of the 2013 General Elections, Auditor General’s Accounts, the Hustler’s jet leasing and investigations into the questionable transfer of Sh2.3 billion from the Office of the President between 2012 and 2013 among others.
The legislator however fought against the allegations and retained his position as the PAC chair. However, his accusers, who are fellow MPs, wanted to vote him out afresh the following week and this, coming at a time when the leadership of Parliament was meeting in Mombasa led to further increase uncertainty on the workings of the committee.
Leader of Majority Aden Duale then decided to seek the direction of the Speaker through a motion in Parliament. This resulted in the Speaker suspending the committee to allow for investigations into the corruption allegations by the Powers and Privileges Committee. It is at this point that it was revealed that to retain the position as PAC chairman, Ababu played a recording in which MP Samuel Arama, Junet Mohammed and CORD leader Raila Odinga were in attendance in which he recorded that conversation. The recording contained assertions by Arama that corruption was influencing the leadership wrangles Ababu was facing. Hear the recording
Kenyans therefore took to social media to show their dissatisfaction on how the PAC chair who is also the Secretary General for Orange Democratic Movement(ODM) has handled the corruption allegations that has dogged his committee for the last two weeks urging him to step aside and pave way for investigations.
Under a hast tag #Ababu that was trending last week Kenyans on Twitter did not mince their words and now want the embattled Budalangi MP to stop incriminating others in the corruption saga and take responsibility for allegedly receiving a bribe from Defense PS Mutea Iringo to alter a report on investigations on how the Interior Ministry spend sh2.9 billion shillings from the secret funds.
Ababu should resign as chair of PAC. Integrity is very important in discharging public duties and it all boils down to perception and trust. — jacob juma (@kabetes) March 5, 2015
Ababu knows alot he say he hon.Arama got 200k so mean Ababu got more than Arama?#Ababu resign
Simon Warui (@simon_warui) March 15, 2015
— Joseph Musau (@Mutuku1969J) March 14, 2015
Some also questioned the motive of Ababu’s recordings with others dismissing it as a ploy by the PAC chair to absolve himself from any wrong doing by gathering evidence for defense.
The corruption allegations of the PAC committee has put the integrity of the eleventh house to test and Kenyans will be watching keenly to see how the matter will be handled.
Kenyans will be watching the ongoing investigations by the Powers and Privileges Committee and hoping that the truth comes out. Some have already cast aspersions at to how the MPs will reveal the truth yet some of them are also as corrupt. There are others who want a probe into the whole house by an independent institution to ensure that the entire house is rid of dirt that is destroying the credibility and dignity of the House.