What you need to know:
- Mr Chirchir becomes the first Cabinet Secretary in the Jubilee administration to be questioned over corruption.
- This is the second time Mr Chirchir’s integrity has been questioned.
Energy Cabinet Secretary Davis Chirchir on Friday said he would resign if charged with receiving bribes from a British printing firm, Smith & Ouzman.
Mr Chirchir, who spoke after recording a statement with the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) in connection with the Sh50 million “chicken” scandal, maintained his innocence.
“The law is very clear, Chapter Six of the Constitution is very clear. We’ll cross that bridge when we get there,” Mr Chirchir said.
Mr Chirchir becomes the first Cabinet Secretary in the Jubilee administration to be questioned over corruption.
Should the EACC find Mr Chirchir culpable and charge him with bribery, by law, he will be required to step down and earn half his salary as his case is prosecuted through the courts.
However, President Uhuru Kenyatta may also sack him.
This is the second time Mr Chirchir’s integrity has been questioned.
During his vetting by Parliament after his nomination, Cord MPs claimed Mr Chirchir, an ally of Deputy President William Ruto, had serious integrity issues.
And on Friday, EACC investigators interrogated him for nearly two hours.
The minister is said to be among those who received an undisclosed amount of money from Smith & Ouzman to influence award of tenders when he served as a commissioner at the Interim Independent Electoral Commission (IIEC).
Two officials of the British firm have been convicted and jailed in the UK over the scandal.
EACC detectives are trying to find the actual recipients of a Sh50 million bribe given to Mr Trevy Oyombra, a Kenyan agent of Smith & Ouzman, who would in turn disburse the money, referred to as “chicken” in S&O correspondence, to top IIEC officials.
Also questioned was former Kenya National Examination Council boss Paul Wasanga who is accused of receiving over Sh700,000 in bribes.
A defiant Mr Chirchir challenged those with evidence linking him to the scandal to present it.
“I will be happy to have this case properly concluded and that is why I am inviting anyone with evidence to forward it,” he said.
“I have answered the questions put to me by the commission. I want to confirm to you I had a very good interview where I articulated the issues that I know and those that I do not know. It is not right that prosecution of this issue has been through the media when there is a constitutional body that can put the questions to us,” added the CS.
Mr Chirchir denied knowledge of or ever meeting Trevy Oyombra, said to be the agent for Smith & Ouzman, and who allegedly facilitated the bribery payments.
IEBC chairman Issack Hassan faced the detectives on Thursday as part of the same investigation.
Mr Wasanga also said he was innocent and defended S&O whom he said submitted the most competitive bid.
“It is not true that I was paid to award the contract to S&O, they won the tender after submitting the most competitive bid,” said Mr Wasanga.
Asked why S&O had been given the tender repeatedly for eight years, Mr Wasanga said Knec had considered nine other printing firms but S&O had consistently won the tenders competitively.