This article was first published on The Kenyan Weekly Newspaper in Print.
A damning dossier against Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohammed has emerged–– two weeks before she faces a historic African Union vote –– in what may put roadblocks in her path to the continents top job
The petition filed in the National Assembly in December alleges massive financial impropriety by the CS, putting her ministry in the spot, amid claims that she sided with Somalia in the Kenyan boundary dispute with the war-tone Somalia.
In fact, the petition alleges that President Uhuru Kenyatta could secretly be edging out Amina in fear of out rightly kicking her out and losing the critical Somali vote.
According to the dossier, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has numerously hired private jets at exaggerated prices from 748 Air Services Ltd, a firm owned by Amina’s brother Ahmed Rashid Jibril.
“Since 2013, the ministry has procured private jets for use by the CS more frequently than usual through single sourcing…The company which is based at JKIA is owned by its founder Mr.Ahmed Rashid Jibril, a brother of CS Amina Mohamed,” the voluminous petition reads in part.
The petitioner claims it’s possible the jets recently chartered for Deputy President William Ruto for Amina’s pan-African campaign could have been procured from the same firm.
Top Jubilee leaders including cabinet ministers have been flying across the continent, marketing Amina’s bid for AU chair for the elections scheduled for January 31, 2017.
The dossier was sent to the National Assembly’s Defence and Foreign Relations Committee, recommending a probe on the CS.
However, Parliament is on recess and will only resume in February.
The petition, reportedly drafted by top civil servants, claims that massive corruption marred two international conferences that Jubilee has often dangled to demonstrate the international community’s confidence in Kenya.
According to the petition, the World Trade Organisation and the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development were dogged by uncontrolled and irregular expenditure.
WTO took place in December 2015 while UNCTAD took place in June last year.
“The ministry under Amb. Amina took advantage of the events to indulge government in fraudulent procurement practices. As a result of the malpractices the real economic value Kenya should have gained from hosting the conference was inevitably reduced,” the petition claims.
Amina, a smooth operator whom the Kenyan media has often described as one of Uhuru’s most “successful” ministers had claimed that UNCTAD alone injected sh6 billion into the country’s economy.
The petition also lifts the lid on what could be a multi-million racket in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
It alleges irregular procurement of limousines and high end cars, mainly used by visiting VIPs that are allegedly procured at exorbitant rates.
The dossier terms Amina as “the chief priestess” of a powerful cartel that is undermining the State owned National Bank of Kenya.
Soon after taking office as CS, the document states, Amina took unsecured loan of sh98,500,000 from NBK which she withdrew over the counter on 7 October 2013 through customer number 0876261.
This was just two days after obtaining the loan approval, the petition states.
According to the dossier, Amina transferred the cash to Padock Investment LTD, a company owned by her brother who is said to have a posh residence in Ontario, Canada.
“From their vantage position, members of the cartel obtained large unsecured loans which they withdrew in total over the counter…Its highly suspected CS Amina is not up to date with the payment of the loan with the NBK,” the petition says.
NBK is holding toxic loans that has plunged the institution into financial mess.
Last year, the Bank warned that due to non-performing loan portfolio, its full year 2015 results would dip by at least a quarter.
In an intriguing claim, the dossier says Amina betrayed Kenya in the negotiations of the maritime row with Somalia.
Details of Amina’s treacher against Kenya, the document states, are detailed in the depositions made by Somalia in her case against Kenya at the International Court of Justice.
“As minutes of the negotiation meetings, all of which took place in her ministry of Foreign Affairs office will show just how far she had gone to deliberately betray and weaken Kenya’s negotiation position at any subsequent future forums, worst in a court of law,” the petition states.
“That the government of Kenya would spend taxpayers money to get an international job for Amina, let alone propose her candidature for it, beats all logic.”
After the negotiations flopped, Somalia moved to the ICJ in 2014 seeking fresh delimitation of the two countries’ maritime boundary.
It is feared the move could see Kenya become a landlocked state and lose at least five oil-rich petroleum blocks.
Also flagged out in the petition is the alleged diversion and misappropriation of special funds intended for regional technical cooperation diplomacy.
About Sh2 billion is said to have been allocated for the fund since 2013.
According to the petition, Amina with the help of Uhuru’s Advisor on Constitutional Affairs Abdikadir Mohammed blocked the establishment of a multi-agency team to manage the cash.
Had the fund been used as it was intended, the petition claim, humiliating events that undermine Kenya’s diplomatic standing would have been averted.
It list the decision by Uganda to abandon the LAPSSET oil pipeline and to join the Tanzanian Tanga Port route as well as the decision by Rwanda to withdraw from the Mombasa-Kampala-Kigali SGR project.
“The bulk of the money, running into billions, has been siphoned into the personal pockets of the CS/PS and their cronies,”the report states.
The petition also puts Amina on the spot for the hiring Washington based public relations firm at an exorbitant cost, just after it handled international advocacy for Somalia.
According to the petition, Amina took advantage of the crimes against humanity cases against President Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto to incur public money to hire the firm.
“At the time of signing the contract the Podesta group, the Kenyan government and the Somali Federal Government were already at serious loggerheads over Somalia’s provocative claim of Somalia’s claim of nearly half of Kenya’s Maritime waters,” the petition states.
“It’s simply not logical that the firm podesta Group that was introduced to Amina by Central Bank of Somalia Governor, Mr Abdusalam Omer, would objectively handle the affairs of the two countries, when they are engaged in serious diplomatic and legal contestations without compromising the interest of one or the other.”
According to the petition, Amina’s incompetence came to the fore when Ruto addressed a nearly empty room at the UN General Assembly last year.
The DP also had an ugly exchange with the management of the Hotel he was booked in when he was subjected to body searches and frisking.
The Kenyan Weekly exclusively reported about the Ruto’s Hotel drama in September 2016
Citing Article 132 (2) of the Constitution, the petition argues that Uhuru should have nominated and only with the approval of Parliament offered her for the AU top job.
The petition have asked Parliament for speedy investigations into Amina’s conduct but this is unlikely considering the time left before the elections.