Sunday, June 26, 2016
Ababu-led PAC was a ruthless blackmail and extortionist organization
By the very nature of its role as the public spending watchdog, PAC is one of the most significant and powerful Committees in parliament, since it has a critical role to play in ensuring that there is accountability and transparency in the way Government agencies allocate, spend and manage their finances and also more importantly, in guaranteeing that the taxpayer receives value for money for every shilling spent.
At the start of the 11th Parliament in 2013, Budalangi MP Ababu Namwamba was given the mantle and trusted with heading this crucial committee by the official opposition. Unbeknown to us all, this marked the start of what would be the biggest scandal in the history of parliament in Kenya. The failure was spectacular and embarrassing!
After traveling the world for close to two years collecting sitting and traveling allowances amounting to millions of shillings, that included all-expenses paid business class investigative trips, some of which he tagged his beloved wife along, Hon Namwamba and his committee did not table a single report to justify its mandate.
Instead, an internal probe exposed Ababu’s PAC as deeply corrupt. The verdict was direct and damning. It found the PAC members had acted dishonestly and corruptly. PAC had dealt unprecedented damage to their work and undermined public trust and confidence ... having conspired to extort what were in substance bribes from the institutions they were supposed to investigate through systematic acts of blackmail.
Parliament unanimously agreed with the Powers and Privileges Committee and adopted its investigative report into the dirty affairs of PAC leading to the premature disbandment of the Ababu-led PAC which is one of the House’s most important oversight committees. The disgraced PAC members were ordered to apologise to the rest of the House and barred from the new PAC.
The specific five members of the old one that were debarred were its chairman Ababu Namwamba (Budalang’i, ODM), Ahmed Abass (Ijara, ODM), James Bett (Kesses, URP), Omondi Anyanga (Nyatike, ODM) and Cecily Mbarire (Runyenjes, TNA). Under normal circumstances, they were supposed to face criminal charges in an anti-corruption court. They did not.
Hon Namwamba’s team became the first watchdog committee to be disbanded on allegations of corruption in the 53 year old history of the Kenyan Parliament.
In their paid “working” holidays overseas, the disgraced and debarred Chairman Ababu Namwamba and his team forgot that PAC signifies one of the essential constituents of Parliamentary watchdogs which is the culpability of Public money.
They instead used their positions to extort money from suppliers and other organizations that they were investigating. This is information is not something that is made up. It is in fact recorded in the hansard as actual events. If there was anything that ever exposed Ababu as a fraud, the dissolution of the PAC was it. It is time some people got off their high horses.
Despite of the enormity of the scandal, the ODM and its leadership stood by its beleaguered Bundalangi MP. As if that was not enough, Ababu went ahead made a brazen secret recording of his private meetings with the Party Leader who has always defended him.