Kosgey freed of criminal charges
Posted Thursday, June 28 2012 at 23:30
- After termination of the case, MP and supporters have asked Premier and Kibaki to reinstate him
The dismissal of abuse of office charges against suspended Industrialisation Minister Henry Kosgey opens doors for consultations in the coalition government on a Cabinet reshuffle that might see him reinstated.
After the ruling on Thursday, an elated Mr Kosgey asked President Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga to consider giving him back his job after more than an year in the cold.
In an interview with the Nation after the court decision, the Orange Democratic Movement chairman said like in the International Criminal Court case on post-election violence, he was always confident the charges would also be cleared.
He said the High Court decision now gives him time to concentrate on his work as ODM chairman.
“I am relieved. God loves me. He rescued me from the ICC case and now I am vindicated at home,” he said in Nairobi after the judgement of the case that started in January 2011.
“It is up to the principals to return me to the Cabinet now that I have been cleared of all charges locally and internationally,” the Tinderet MP said.
“I always knew I would be vindicated. You cannot be charged with flouting regulations. No government money or taxes was lost. It was malice and politics,” he added.
Mr Kosgey, who stressed he was the most qualified to secure Mr Odinga’s presidential election victory, declared he would now channel his energies to national reconciliation and propagating the ODM agenda.
High Court judge Nicholas Ombija declared that the case on the alleged irregular importation of motor vehicles was misconceived and the result of bad blood between the then minister and his PS Karanja Kibicho.
“This was a case of settling scores. The trial should not have proceeded. It was an error,” the judge said.
The judge prohibited the Nairobi magistrate, who has been trying the criminal case, or any other court from hearing the criminal case, concluding that Mr Kosgey’s trial was an abuse of the court process.
Mr Kosgey was suspended as minister for Industrialisation after he was accused of exempting 113 vehicles from import restrictions without consulting the National Standards Council.
He was charged with abuse of office before Nairobi principal magistrate Elijah Obaga.
The court judgement, which triggered celebrations in the North Rift towns of Eldoret, Kapsabet and Nandi Hills, now opens possibilities of a Cabinet reshuffle, which might see the 65-year-old MP’s return to his Industrialisation docket.
Mr Odinga would also be seeking to fill the Local Government ministry left vacant after Deputy Prime Minister Musalia Mudavadi resigned from the post, and that of assistant minister for Internal Security, which is vacant following the death of Mr Joshua Orwa Ojodeh in the June 10 helicopter crash.
On the PNU side, President Kibaki needs to appoint a minister to the Internal Security docket that was held by Prof George Saitoti who died alongside Mr Ojodeh in the helicopter tragedy.
On Thursday, former Eldoret South MP David Koros asked Mr Odinga to reinstate Mr Kosgey.
Ms Janet Ongera, the director of the ODM secretariat, said that reinstating Kosgey in the Cabinet would “strengthen the party”.