MPs refuse to be investigated over sugar Bribery report, say it may block them in 2022

MPs on Wednesday adopted a report barring investigative agencies from probing members over bribery allegations on the sugar report.

The report by the Powers and Privileges Committee on the inquiry into the alleged bribery was tabled on the floor of the House with amendments on the recommendations on the sugar report.

The amendments were introduced by Endebess MP Robert Pukose and seconded by Majority leader Aden Duale.

MPs on August 9 shot down the sugar report by the joint committee on Trade and Agriculture on grounds that it did not conclusively interrogate critical issues raised.

The team led by Kanini Kega recommended that Treasury CS Henry Rotich and former Agriculture CS Willy Bett be investigated over sugar importation and the awarding of waivers to 14 companies that evaded tax worth Sh10 billion.

A section of MPs later claimed the report was rejected because some MPs were bribed with Sh10,000 in toilets.

Wajir Woman Representative Fatuma Gedi, Kiambu’s Gathoni wa Muchomba, Naivasha MP Jayne Kihara and Kimilili MP Didimus Barasa made the claims.

Wajir woman representative Fatuma Gedi addresses the press at Parliament buildings on August 13, 2018. /JACK OWUOR

Gedi later admitted to lobbying members to defeat the sugar report, but denied claims that she gave out money to her colleagues.

Barasa said Gedi was protecting East African Community CS Adan Mohammed, who was indicted for failure to ensure compliance with standards in the importation of the allegedly contaminated sugar.

Gedi later confronted Barasa in the precincts of Parliament over the issue, causing a scene.

During Wednesday’s debate, Duale said the members who made the allegations are the ones who should be investigated by the EACC and the DCI.

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He said it was not fair to subject the whole House to an investigation on the basis of mere allegations.

“All the allegations that had been said were never proved,” he said.

“The DCI can start an investigation and in 2022 you might not get clearance. That is why the premise of the Constitution is that Parliament must regulate itself,” Duale said.  “This report is a soul-searching report. And please, Members of Parliament in your private meetings let our names not be your denominator. Don’t discuss us,” Duale said.

He said MPs who have issues with operations in the House should make their concerns known before the Parliamentary Accounts Committee.

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