By Christopher Maina
Jubilee Alliance Majority leader Aden Duale, Public Investment Committee (PIC) Chair Aden Keynan and Speaker JB Muturi are alleged to be the face of a conmanship ongoing in parliament when legislators investigate institutions and individuals over public probity.
Kenya Today followed up with the Star Newspaper where a reporter, whom we promised anonymity to share with us the true faces behind a ‘corridors of power’ story on three members of the national assembly, finally gave us the names. Here is the Star’s political desk report on the issue.
Three members of national assembly have formed a triumvirate coalition dubbed “the three musketeers” by colleagues. The three, one of them a fierce defender of the establishment and the other one who is in opposition are said to be engaged in systematic milking of individuals and institutions who may become subjects of parliamentary scrutiny. The two receive the all-important backing of their colleague who has good friends in high places to undertake their activities.
According to this Star rumour, Duale (fierce defender of the establishment) and Keynan (in the opposition) use the backing of and patronage of Speaker Muturi to financially benefit from individuals, including parastatal heads and cabinet secretaries under probe by parliamentary committees.
As majority leader, Duale is charged with championing the Jubilee Alliance interest in parliament. Muturi is said to be protecting keynan who has often demanded that his committee investigates matter being investigated by other departmental committees. Often, speaker Muturi allows two committees to investigate the same issue but file separate reports, adding to the current bloated wage bill as MPs churn thousands of shillings during committee sittings.
This scandalous arrangement reached fever pitch last week when PIC was investigating Geothermal Development Company over alleged corruption in procurement and award of tender to a Chinese company. Keynan is being accused by colleagues of being overly zealous when investigating individuals and institutions who’ve refused to part with a bribe, but going slow when he has been sorted out.
Keynan’s PIC Committee often demand to investigate anything in what Deputy Minority whip Jakoyo Midiwo claimed was due to the ‘value of the investigations’. The value, according to another MP, is in monetary terms and potential tenders from government ministries.
Keynan’s committee, for instance, had demanded to investigate the standard gauge railway tender that was clearly under the ‘docket’ of the Transport Committee chaired by Maina Kamanda. Interestingly, while Kamanda’s committee submitted their report, Keynan’s committee is yet to do so.
The same Keynan Committee investigated? the Laptops tender and the NSSF Tassia scheme saga a few weeks ago.
Legislators now say Keynan is getting protection from Duale and Speaker Muturi, the two who in turn receive the ‘proceeds’ of Keynan’s work. In the geothermal investigations, Keynan committee locked horns with another committe, that of Energy, headed by Kigumo MP Jamleck Kamau.
Last week, Rarieda MP Nicholas Gumbo openly spoke against Keynan’s interference, saying his committee should be involved in scrutinizing reports from the Auditor-General’s office on government spending and only probe a matter once the issue is passed over to the committee through a motion or through a request by a member on the floor of the House.
Keynan is a member of ODM party and currently coalesces around Budalangi MP Ababu Namwamba who is also the chair of Public Accounts Committee.