Come clean on Anglo Leasing, Raila tells Kibaki

President Kibaki chats with Father Eugene Ferrari of the Consolata Shrine in Westlands, Nairobi after attending Mass at the church yesterday.

President Kibaki chats with Father Eugene Ferrari of the Consolata Shrine in Westlands, Nairobi after attending Mass at the church yesterday.
Photo by PPS

Orange Democratic Movement leader Raila Odinga yesterday threw responsibility for the Anglo Leasing scandal squarely on President Kibaki.

The President should attend Parliament in his capacity as Othaya MP and answer questions on what he knew about the Anglo Leasing affair, Mr Odinga said.

The Langata MP said President Kibaki should resign if Vice-President Moody Awori is forced to quit after being adversely mentioned in the scandal by the watchdog Public Accounts Committee.

Addressing two separate public rallies in the Kibera slums, Nairobi, Mr Odinga said the Constitution and parliamentary rules allowed the President to attend Parliament and answer questions in his capacity as the Othaya MP.

"Since the PAC report shows State House knew about the Anglo Leasing scandal, the President should attend Parliament next week and explain whatever he knows. The President has a right to attend Parliament where we are waiting to face him," the MP said.

Mr Odinga said the President should stop using Presidential Press Services director Isaiya Kabira to issue statements on the Anglo Leasing scandal on his behalf.

"The President is an MP and should answer public questions instead of maintaining silence...," Mr Odinga said.

The Lang'ata MP said since the PAC report shows that self-exiled former permanent secretary John Githongo informed the President on every move about the scandal, he should quit if VP Awori succumbs to pressure and resigns over his alleged involvement in Anglo Leasing.

"If Awori goes, President Kibaki should go with him because he has also been implicated," Mr Odinga said at Laini Saba grounds.

He led the crowd in demanding that all those mentioned by the Uhuru Kenyatta-led House team quit and be prosecuted.

Mr Odinga said the PAC revelation was a big shame to the country as it proved that the Anglo Leasing scandal was hatched "at the top".

Addressing the same rallies, Bondo MP Oburu Odinga said since President Kibaki's former personal assistant, Mr Alfred Getonga, had been mentioned in the multi-billion shillings scandal, State House was deeply involved in it.

Lang'ata MP Raila Odinga addresses a rally in Kibera yesterday.
Photo by William Oeri

Dr Oburu said Anglo Leasing, like the Goldenberg scandal, was wide and involved people from outside the country.

He said President Kibaki and Mr Awori will not be spared by graft claims which have claimed former Cabinet ministers Chris Murungaru, Kiraitu Murungi, George Saitoti and David Mwiraria.

Westlands MP Fred Gumo, who announced his interest on the presidency on an LDP ticket, and his Makadara counterpart, Mr Reuben Ndolo, said MPs will not allow Mr Awori to quit alone over Anglo Leasing while President Kibaki remains in office.

They said the Head of State has no moral authority to continue in office following the tabling of the PAC report that implicates him in graft. He should resign and call fresh elections, the MPs said.

The PAC report says that President Kibaki was fully aware of the scandal as it unfolded.

It said the President had been briefed by Mr Githongo as he went on with investigations.

The committee said: "The fact that top civil servants were sacked on authority of the President, clearly points to adequate information having been provided to him, a fact that was confirmed in testimony by the Head of Public Service." 

It also states that the President directed Mr Githongo to investigate Mr Merlyn Kettering – one of the linchpins of Anglo Leasing – and to ensure funds paid to the company were refunded.

The report added: "Even if it is accepted that Mr Githongo never briefed the President, as may be claimed, other persons also testified that the President received appropriate briefing." 

Mr Mwiraria and the head of the Civil Service, Mr Francis Muthaura, confirmed in their evidence to the committee that the President was kept abreast of the matter.

However, on Saturday the PPS head, Mr Kabira, defended the President saying he had acted by ordering the sacking of permanent secretaries and other senior officials involved.

The President, Mr Kabira added, had also asked the Kenya Anti-Corruption Commission to prosecute them.

The report also indicts Mr Awori, Mr Murungi, Mr Mwiraria and other senior government officials recommending that they be investigated.

Yesterday, Mr Odinga accused the Kibaki administration of tribalism and fanning thuggery in Kibera that has left eight people killed recently, two of them on Saturday.

The MP claimed Internal Security minister had hatched a plan to force some Kibera residents to leave the area so as to weaken his political support. Mr Gumo added that the Government planned to "finish" Mr Odinga and himself politically in Nairobi.

Mr Odinga paraded a man who was on Saturday injured when unknown people attacked him at his home in Kibera.

The MP led the residents in rejecting deployment of police officers in Kibera saying they were not needed.

Mr Odinga maintained that he will not apologise for allegedly defaming an Armenian businessman currently in the country.

The MP said his lawyers had written to Mr Artur Margaryan informing him that he was ready to meet him in court.

Mr Odinga said he had information critical of the foreigner.