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

Karzai's Legacy: Missed Opportunities?

Afghanistan's president leaves behind a much different nation than the one he inherited, yet his legacy from 13 years in power is getting mixed reviews More

Video Secret Service Chief Under Fire for White House Security Breach

Julia Pierson faces tough questions from lawmakers after recent intrusion at White House, says: 'It is clear that our security plan was not executed properly' More

Frustrated, Liberian Students Want Ebola Fight Role

Thousands have volunteered to go to counties, rural villages to talk to people in their language about deadly virus 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.
Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihadi
X
Mahi Ramakrishnan
September 30, 2014 2:16 PM
Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihad

Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Could US Have Done More to Stop Rise of Islamic State?

President Obama says airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Syria will likely continue for some time because, in his words, "there is a cancer that has grown for too long." So what if President Obama had acted sooner in Syria to arm more-moderate opponents of both the Islamic State and the Syrian government? VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Video

Video Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenya

Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Iran's Rouhani Skeptical on Syria Strikes

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani expressed skepticism Friday that U.S.-led airstrikes in Iraq and Syria could crush Islamic State militants. From New York, VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports the president was also hopeful that questions about Iran’s nuclear program could be resolved soon.
Video

Video US House Speaker: Congress Should Debate Authorization Against IS

As wave after wave of U.S. airstrikes target Islamic State militants, the speaker of the Republican-controlled House of Representatives says he would be willing to call Congress back into session to debate a formal, broad authorization for the use of military force. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports from Washington, where legislators left town 10 days ago for a seven-week recess.
Video

Video Ebola Patients Find No Treatment at Sierra Leone Holding Center

At a holding facility in Makeni, central Sierra Leone, dozens of sick people sit on the floor in an empty university building. They wait in filthy conditions. It's a 16-hour drive by ambulance to Kailahun Ebola treatment center. Adam Bailes was there and reports on what he says are some of the worst situations he has seen since the beginning of this Ebola outbreak. And he says it appears case numbers may already be far worse than authorities acknowledge.
Video

Video Identifying Bodies Found in Texas Border Region

Thousands of immigrants have died after crossing the border from Mexico into remote areas of the southwestern United States in recent years. Local officials in south Texas alone have found hundreds of unidentified bodies and buried them in mass graves in local cemeteries. Now an anthropologist and her students at Baylor University have been exhuming bodies and looking for clues to identify them. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Waco, Texas.
Video

Video Ebola Robs Liberians of Chance to Say Good-Bye to Loved Ones

In Liberia, where Ebola has killed more than 1,500 people, authorities have worked hard to convince people to allow specialized burial teams to take away dead bodies. But these safety measures, while necessary, make it hard for people to say good bye to their loved ones. VOA's Anne Look reports on the tragedy from Liberia.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid