A section of members of parliament on Thursday, September 8, expressed their reservations against Moses Wetangula’s eligibility to hold the position of National Assembly Speaker.
The members led by Ruaraka MP, TJ Kajwang, questioned Wetangula’s integrity record citing the 2010 Tokyo Embassy scandal in which he was implicated.
Wetangula resigned from the Cabinet that year to pave way for investigations to be conducted.
“The same person that is candidate, there is a valid resolution of this house which is in record saying that particular person is not legible to hold a public office in Kenya. This is a house of records, that the person should not hold a public office arising out of matters concerning integrity,” remarked Kajwang.
National Assembly Sergeant at Arms prepares ballot boxes ahead of the election of the Speaker on September 8, 2022. These remarks were rebutted by Garissa Township MP Aden Duale who stated that the Kajwang got his facts wrong regarding the details of the report on Wetangula’s probe.
“Relevant agencies have cleared Moses Masika Wetangula and (the late) president, Mwai Kibaki, reinstated him to his ministerial position. Facts speak for themselves, let us not read the law selectively,” remarked Duale.
Serah Kioko, the acting clerk of the National Assembly also dismissed the claims and cleared Wetangula to vie.
“On September 5, after Wetangula submitted his papers, I also wrote to the IEBC over his eligibility to vie for office. Consequently, in a letter on September 6, IEBC stated that he is eligible to contest for the position,” Kioko clarified.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs was 2010 accused of irregularly procuring an embassy in Tokyo Japan. Wetangula was at the helm of the powerful ministry at the time of this transaction in his tenure as the Minister of Foreign Affairs.
According to various reports, the ministry declined an offer of land from the government of Japan and instead opted to purchase the building valued at over Ksh 1.7 billion. It was also alleged that the building was inflated and valued at more than Ksh 300 million.
Additionally, the ministry was accused of irregularly acquiring embassies in Egypt, Nigeria, and Pakistan where huge sums of Kenyan taxpayers’ money were lost.
Consequently; Wetangula, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry- Mwangi Thuita – and two other officials were indicted for the allegations of corruption. Various oversight bodies launched a probe into the matter, including the Parliamentary Committee on Defence and Foreign Affairs.
However, Wetangula was absolved from the allegations and later reinstated to his former position. The Committee in its report found that he was not involved in the scandal.
Notably, the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) 2019 stated its intention to revisit the scandal. According to the commission, the case was among those that were not properly executed by the former anti-corruption body- Kenya Anti Corruption Commission (KACC).
Throughout the time, Wetangula maintained his innocence, arguing that he was never involved in any corrupt proceedings regarding the purchasing of embassies.
DP William Ruto and Ford Kenya party leader, Moses Wetangula during a church service in Vihiga County on Sunday, February 6, 2022.
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