STATEMENT BY H.E. RAILA ODINGA,EGH: ODM PARTY STAND ON ALLEGED THEFT OF CORONAVIRUS FUNDS:
August 24th, 2020.
The Orange Democratic Movement’s record of commitment to fighting corruption and safeguarding public resources is well documented. ODM never did and never will tolerate corruption in all its manifestations, no matter who is involved.
The position of the party in the current allegations of corruption in COVID-19 related resources is that the government needs to conduct a thorough and urgent audit of all the funds that have been put at the disposal of various state agencies, departments and ministries to fight the pandemic with a view to establishing the facts on usage of such resources.
ODM has always advocated this systematic approach to fighting corruption. In the Grand Coalition Government, the party successfully pushed for the systematic audit of the sale of Grand Regency Hotel and attendant consequences. ODM pushed for the systematic audit of Anglo Leasing Scandal by Kroll and Associates, leading to appropriate legal action on culprits. When the Maize Scandal erupted, ODM pushed for the appointment of PricewaterhouseCoopers to audit the matter, leading to appropriate action against culprits. A special audit also led to convictions in the Ksh283 million Nairobi cemetery scam.
�This approach has worked well in the recent past. In the case of Arror and Kimwarer dams, the truth was established when the Auditor-General conducted a special audit of the Sh60 billion dams whose procurement and financing had caused public outrage.
Law enforcement agencies and prosecutors around the world were allowed to work with local investigators to assist with financial analysis, tracing funds and investigating money laundering. It led to a solid case that resulted in arrests and suspensions. The truth through special audit came after a spirited effort by politicians to mislead the country at many press conferences and public rallies that no money had been lost.
A similar approach worked with regard to the National Youth Service scam where in 2016, the office of the Auditor General was able to establish that Kenyan taxpayers lost Ksh1.9 billion in the scandal and proceeded to identify the principal beneficiaries of the theft. On the basis of that audit, suspects were arraigned in court.
As matters stand now, none of the people taking to the podium or social media to condemn theft of funds has any evidence. The so-called condemnations of theft could well be part of a cover-up.
Our experience in this country is that the best way to bungle and cover up corruption investigations is to have many different voices each with its own version of truth. We saw that noise with regard to Arror and Kimwarer dams and the NYS scams, among others.
It is with this background in mind that ODM wants a speedy professional audit that can lead to prosecution instead of a political shouting match that creates more confusion and end up clouding the issues and even covering up for the thieves.
ODM will not defend anyone, including members or relatives and friends of its officials, found to have benefitted from funds and other resources meant for fighting the coronavirus pandemic.
H.E. RAILA ODINGA; EGH
THE ORANGE DEMOCRATIC MOVEMENT.