A section of Mt Kenya lawmakers has taken a swipe at their colleagues in Rift Valley following persistent criticisms on President Uhuru Kenyatta and Director of Criminal Investigations (DCI) George Kinoti as rift within Jubilee Party widens.
MPs Rahim Dawood (Imenti North), Muturi Kigano (Kangema) and Maina Kamanda (nominated), while speaking to Nation separately, accused their colleagues in Deputy President William Ruto’s backyard of politicising the fight against corruption.
Mr Kamanda also said Jubilee Party’s future is bleak, and that Mt Kenya region may form a political coalition with another community if Rift Valley group pulls out of ruling coalition.
The MPs told off the Rift Valley group that is seemingly led by Senate Majority Leader Kipchumba Murkomen and Kapseret MP Oscar Sudi for attacking Mr Kinoti and President Kenyatta.
According to Mr Kigano, the lawmakers opposed to the anti-corruption purge want to blackmail the President as he dismissed allegations that Dr Ruto is being sidelined in the government.
The MPs said the Elgeyo Marakwet senator should stay silent and allow Mr Kinoti and the Director of Pubic Prosecution (DPP) Noordin Haji execute their mandate to investigate corruption allegations on the tendering of two mega dams in his county.
“It is questionable what they are fearing in the DCI’s move to investigate the Sh21 billion Kimwarer and Arror dams as well as other corruption scandals. The DCI and DPP should be allowed to exercise their independence,” said Mr Dawood.
Recently, Mr Murkomen and Mr Sudi with a host of other Rift Valley MPs said Mr Kinoti was being dragged into the 2022 political wars and that the senior detective was scandalising construction of the two dams.
According to Senator Murkomen, the uproar over the construction of the twin projects in his county was a ploy to derail the implementation and have them gifted to another region.
The Senator also lashed out at Mr Kinoti for leaking information regarding investigations on alleged loss of public funds to the media.
A Nyeri MP, a close ally of President Kenyatta, who sought anonymity for fear of being seen to be fighting the President supported Mr Murkomen’s remarks.
The first-term MP said Mr Haji and Mr Kinoti are tainting the government’s image by trying the corruption cases in the media.
“DCI must behave like a professional investigator. Talk less and act more. He and Haji should only pronounce themselves through the charge sheet in court. Their performance will be judged by number of convictions in court and not press conferences and media statements,” he noted.
The MP added: “Investigations are done quietly and only when evidence is credible and sufficient that you table it in court. The court reporters see details from charge sheet and tell the country. The current exercise of investigations through the press, is public relations and selective tainting of people’s names.”
On his part, Mr Sudi said there was a scheme to scuttle Mr Ruto’s 2022 presidential bid by sabotaging mega development projects in his backyard.
“We want to remind the President that Rift Valley voted for him overwhelmingly, more than any other region,” said Mr Sudi.
The defiant second-term MP claimed the graft war was aiming to remove people from the Rift from top government positions.
But the long-serving MP Maina Kamanda condemned the remarks, saying the corruption war is against individuals plundering public resources and not communities.
“They (Murkomen and Sudi) should desist from attacking the DCI. Why are they shouting before the truth in the scandals is out? If you have not stolen, why shout when investigations are ongoing,” asked Mr Kamanda.
He opined that by attacking the investigative agencies, Mr Sudi and Mr Murkomen want to kill the ongoing probe that has seen Treasury Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich grilled by the to shed light on how money for construction of the two dams was paid.
“There is widespread fear that the beneficiaries of the corrupt deals will be known. Those who are clean are not bothered by the investigations and are calmly waiting for the outcome,” said Mr Kamanda.
Asked if the ongoing war of words threatens to bring down Jubilee Party, Mr Kamanda said it would not be a wonder since the country has history of having a mainstream political party in every General Election.
“A party is a vehicle and every term there is reorganisation of parties. I have been in so many parties since 1992. You cannot tell me about a party. Kenya’s parties are personalities,” said Mr Kamanda, who is the leader of Mt Kenya Leadership Forum.
He added: “I don’t expect we shall be intact. You may find some want to go their separate ways then we will also be joining other people. That is how politics are. There is no permanent enmity in politics.”
Mr Kamanda said that the Jubilee Party will lose the 2022 elections if it fails to eliminate corruption in the public sector.
“It is us as Jubilee we clean our house and support the President in fighting corruption, but now we shall be demonized as the most corrupt party in the history of this country. The corruption that has been there in Jubilee’s six years is more than Kanu’s and Kibaki ten years combined,” he noted.