members of Kenya’s parliament have given President Mwai Kibaki an ultimatum to
fire Finance Minister Amos Kimunya Monday. The Kenyan parliament passed
a vote of no confidence last week in Minister Kimunya for his role in the sale
of the Grand Regency Hotel which some say was a corrupt transaction.
Kimunya told VOA the Regency was sold to recover money owed the Kenyan Central
Bank. He reportedly told Monday's The Standard newspaper of Kenya that he would rather die than
Cyrus Jirongo is a member of the group of parliamentarians who are
calling for Finance Minister Kimunya’s immediate sacking. He told VOA they want to recover all of Kenya’s stolen
property to create employment for the country’s youth.
truth of the matter is that this country is experiencing a serious youth
bounce. We are today the second. Zambia is the highest. Kenya is about 39.8,
and in the next four years we are putting another 14.9 million young people
into the work force. Any little resource this country has must be harnessed and
invested with a view to creating formal employment for a majority of our young
people,” he said.
said the members of parliament affiliated with the Grand Coalition were not
acting against minister Kimunya because of hatred. Instead he said finance
minister Kimunya had no right engage in unacceptable and illegal dealings.
accused Finance Minister Kimunya of mortgaging and selling state assets to
certain individuals in Libya.
is this new-found love between those in leadership in this country and certain
individuals in Libya, and they are rapidly mortgaging and taking assets of the
state and selling to certain individuals in Libya and we do not know exactly
what they getting back. And therefore we are saying if the president is part of
what Amos Kimunya has done, and then he should be the first person to agree
with us that Kimunya needs to step aside to allow free and fair investigation.
But if the president is sticking on Kimunya, then there is something the
president knows and literally he is trying to cover up,” Jirongo said.
told VOA last week the Regency Hotel was sold to recover money owed the Kenyan
Central Bank. He also reportedly told Monday’s The Standard newspaper of
Kenya that he would rather die than resign.
Jirongo said the problem is
not the selling of the Grand Regency but rather the manner in which Mr. Kimunya
sold the hotel.
“If you want to sell a
public asset, normally you advertise and accept the highest bid. Why did he
engage in secretive dealings that had nobody’s approval if he was not taking
money for his pocket?” Jirongo said.
He said members of
parliament who are calling for Finance Minister Kimunya’s sacking have a plan
of action should President Kibaki refuse to fire the minister.
“We will come up with a
parliamentary select committee to investigate all the dealings that have been
going on. We are also coming to legislate a new law that will enable the
recovery of all stolen property. And the purpose is to generate enough
resources to invest in various natural resources in this country with a view to
creating employment for our young people,” he said.
The current Kenyan
government is a national unity government that was put together following last
year’s post-election violence.
Jirongo said Mr. Kimunya is
being chased out as minister of finance and not as a member of parliament.
are not firing him as a member of parliament. He was elected by the people, but
he was not elected by the people to be minister of finance. To become a
minister is the prerogative of the president. But we are telling the president
that who ever you appoint as finance minister does not have the capacity, he
doesn’t qualify to be the custodian of assets of the Republic of Kenya,”