Anne Waiguru attacks PAC, accuses it of bias - FARMERCIST 254


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Monday, 7 November 2016

Anne Waiguru attacks PAC, accuses it of bias

Former Devolution Cabinet Secretary Anne Waiguru, who is at the centre of the probe on NYS heist, has defended herself before Parliament and scolded MPs for what she called bias. The former CS faced the National Assembly Public Accounts Committee on Thursday, November 3, over the scandal, in which it was first thought the country lost Sh791million but the Auditor General has since adjusted it to Sh1.6 billion. In the heated session, committee chair Nicholas Gumbo (also Rarieda MP) referred twice to “mind- boggling theft of public funds” which was intended to help the nation’s youth. But Waiguru who seemed prepared for the session, started off by asking for assurance that the hearing would be fair, implying it was a witch-hunt and the judgement was pre determined. The former CS who is eyeing the Kirinyaga gubernatorial seat, at some point appeared very irritated saying she had been the victim of a smear campaign in the media for almost two years. It will be remembered that Waiguru stepped aside just as the scandal blew up in November last year, citing ill health. She sensationally asked President Uhuru Kenyatta to give her lighter duties. “I wish to seek your assurance that this committee is guided by nothing other than its mandate to seek the truth,” she said as quoted by the Star. The former powerful CS who was mentioned by main suspect in the probe – her alleged former hairdresser Josephine Kabura – went on to accuse the committee of unfairly focussing on her and focussing on allegations, not facts and asking improper questions in the preceding sessions. “It would be unfortunate that the role of this committee to look for evidence and establish a pre- established view of the loss at the NYS is sabotaged,” the paper quoted Waiguru. Gumbo however accused her of attempting to intimidate the committee, even before her formal testimony began. Waiguru shifted her focus on Kitutu Masaba MP Timothy Bosire, accusing him of being associated with key NYS suspect Josephine Kabura who said Waiguru helped her do business. “During Kabura’s interview, Bosire insisted if we were business partners. When NYS suspect Ben Gethi was here, they asked questions like tell us about you and Waiguru,” she noted. Bosire interjected and told off Waiguru, saying their work at the PAC is to investigate the loss of Sh1.6 billion. “We are not partial, we are doing correct investigation. Whatever I asked Kabura was derived from the affidavit which she was using as a guide,” Bosire defended his team. Gumbo asked Waiguru to stop limiting the committee and head straight to the point. “I see your preliminary presentations as preemptive. No one is here to abuse your rights,” Gumbo assured her. “You and I who have chosen to be public servants have opened ourselves to public scrutiny. Your rights have been guaranteed by the Constitution and not Nicholas Gumbo.” Sensing Waiguru’s knowledgeable tact, Gumbo said the loss at NYS is something that is of public interest to Kenyans and questions must be asked. “You are knowledgeable and you have read the constitution. As former CS, you should know that the loss of billions is a concern to Kenyans,” Gumbo said. Suba MP John Mbadi who was also present at the session as a friend of the committee, said Waiguru should not make excuses. “I hope the witness is not doing this out of fear, Mr chairman, and I hope the hearing will be fair,” Mbadi who is also ODM party chairman said. She was asked to face the MPs after former Devolution PS Peter Mang’iti and businesswoman Josephine Kabura blamed her for the scandal. Waiguru however insists she is innocent and argues she was not the thief but the whistleblower.

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