News / Africa

Kenyan Foreign Minister Steps Aside in Embassy Scandal

Kenyan Foreign Affairs Minister Moses Wetangula quit his Cabinet post to allow investigations into allegations of a multimillion dollar scandal involving five Kenyan embassies in Africa, Europe and Asia 27 Oct 2010.
Kenyan Foreign Affairs Minister Moses Wetangula quit his Cabinet post to allow investigations into allegations of a multimillion dollar scandal involving five Kenyan embassies in Africa, Europe and Asia 27 Oct 2010.
Michael Onyiego

Kenyan Foreign Minister Moses Wetang'ula has stepped aside, hours after his permanent secretary made a similar move to pave way for investigations into allegations of corruption over procurement and disposals of overseas embassies.  

After more than two weeks of mounting pressure and parliamentary scrutiny, Moses Wetang'ula removed himself from office amid questions regarding his role in the purchase and sale of Kenyan Embassies in Pakistan, Egypt, Belgium, Japan and Nigeria.

"The only thing I do, and must do, is to step aside and give my appointing authority to the president, who I have no doubt understands me fully to have in addressing his mind to this issue, because I am sure he also does not want to have a corrupt minister in his fold.  And when I am vindicated, I can assure you, I will be back," he said.

The Anti-Corruption and Economic Crimes Act written into Kenya's new constitution requires any public officer facing corruption charges to step aside until his name is cleared.  If Wetang'ula had not stepped down, President Mwai Kibaki would have been required by law to suspend him.

Wentang'ula has been adversely mentioned in a parliamentary investigation into Foreign Ministry procurement abroad. In perhaps the most serious case, the report found Kenya had overpaid for embassy property in Japan by nearly $15 million.

The report indicates the transaction was completed in cash, despite repeated assessments given to Kenyan officials deeming the land unsuitable for the embassy's purposes.

On Tuesday, the Parliamentary Defense and Foreign Relations Committee accused Wetang'ula of deliberately misleading the committee regarding the purchases and cited him for gross misconduct.

Throughout the investigation, Wetang'ula has maintained his innocence, arguing that in his position as foreign minister he was not directly involved in government procurement.  Wetang'ula has acknowledged that many of the transactions cited in the report proceeded without his knowledge.

The Foreign Ministry's permanent secretary, Thuita Mwangi, also stepped aside after being similarly implicated in the embassy scandal.  Mwangi maintained his innocence and hoped his resignation would provide space for a quick and thorough investigation.

Kenya is awash with corruption scandals.  Wetangula's announcement comes less than two weeks after former Higher Education Minister William Ruto was ordered to stand trial for allegedly receiving $1.2 million from the illegal sale of public land.

Nairobi Mayor Geophrey Majiwa was arraigned in court Tuesday and is facing four charges stemming from a $3.5 million purchase of land for a public cemetery.  All three men deny the charges against them.

You May Like

How to Safeguard Your Mobile Privacy

As the digital world becomes more mobile, so too do concerns about eroding privacy and increased hacking More

'Desert Dancer' Chronicles Iranian Underground Dance Troupe

Film by Richard Raymond is based on true story of Afshin Ghaffarian and his friends More

Obesity Poses Complex Problem

Professor warns of obesity’s worldwide health impact More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam Wari
X
Katherine Gypson
May 25, 2015 1:32 AM
For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam War

For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Female American Soldiers: Healing Through Filmmaking

According to the United States Defense Department, there are more than 200-thousand women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Like their male counterparts, females have experiences that can be very traumatic.  VOA's Bernard Shusman tells us about a program that is helping some American women in the military heal through filmmaking.
Video

Video Iowa Family's Sacrifice Shaped US Military Service for Generations

Few places in America have experienced war like Waterloo. This small town in the Midwest state of Iowa became famous during World War II not for what it accomplished, but what it lost. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the legacy of one family’s sacrifice is still a reminder today of the real cost of war for all families on the homefront.
Video

Video On Film: How Dance Defies Iran's Political Oppression

'Desert Dancer' by filmmaker Richard Raymond is based on the true story of a group of young Iranians, who form an underground dance troupe in the Islamic Republic of Iran. This is the latest in a genre of films that focus on dance as a form of freedom of expression against political oppression and social injustice. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Turkey's Ruling Party Trying to Lure Voters in Opposition Stronghold

Turkey’s AK (Justice and Development) Party is seeking a fourth successive general election victory, with the goal of securing two-thirds of the seats in Parliament to rewrite the constitution and change the country's parliamentary system into a presidential one. To achieve that, the party will need to win seats in opposition strongholds like the western city of Izmir. Dorian Jones reports.
Video

Video Millions Flock to Ethiopia Polls

Millions of Ethiopians cast their votes Sunday in the first national election since the 2012 death of longtime leader Meles Zenawi. Mr. Meles' party, the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front, is almost certain of victory again. VOA's Anita Powell reports from Addis Ababa.
Video

Video Scientists Testing Space Propulsion by Light

Can the sun - the heart of our solar system - power a spacecraft to the edge of our solar system? The answer may come from a just-launched small satellite designed to test the efficiency of solar sail propulsion. Once deployed, its large sail will catch the so-called solar wind and slowly reach what scientists hope to be substantial speed. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video FIFA Trains Somali Referees

As stability returns to the once lawless nation of Somalia, the world football governing body, FIFA, is helping to rebuild the country’s sport sector by training referees as well as its young footballers. Abdulaziz Billow has more from Mogadishu.
Video

Video With US Child Obesity Rates on the Rise, Program Promotes Health Eating

In its fifth year, FoodCorps puts more than 180 young Americans into 500 schools across the United States, where they focus on teaching students about nutrition, engaging them with hands-on activities, and improving their access to healthy foods whether in the cafeteria or the greater community. Aru Pande has more.
Video

Video Virginia Neighborhood Draws People to Nostalgic Main Street

In the U.S., people used to grow up in small towns with a main street lined by family-owned shops and restaurants. Today, however, many main streets are worn down and empty because shoppers have been lured away by shopping malls. But in the Del Ray neighborhood of Alexandria, Virginia, main street is thriving. VOA’s Deborah Block reports it has a nostalgic feel with its small restaurants and unique stores.

VOA Blogs