It seems Monday’s resignation of two of President Mwai Kibaki’s senior cabinet members because they’ve been implicated in the ongoing corruption scandal has not satisfied the president’s critics. Some of them, including former roads minister Raila Odinga, are calling on President Kibaki to dissolve Parliament to pave the way for a general election. Odinga and other members of parliament are meeting today to make plans to deal with the situation.
Mr. Odinga spoke with English to Africa reporter James Butty about the meeting and the corruption scandal. “Our stance is clear. We say that the revelations are startling; they are monumental and that the government should actually resign. The government has lost the moral authority and credibility to carry out any kind of investigation because most of the people in government are involved in this particular issue, and it even appears that President Kibaki himself knew about it.” Odinga played down Vice President Awori’s claims that he did nothing wrong in the Anglo Leasing scandal. He likened the vice president’s denial to that of a thief caught in the act of stealing. “Most thieves never plead guilty. But the mere fact that you have been taken to court and you have pleaded not guilty does not absolve you from wrongdoing. It has been shown that the vice president knew about this thing.”
Odinga says his political party supports a planned mass action by non-governmental organizations to pressure President Kibaki to dismiss corrupt ministers. He says dismissed government officials should be made to make restitution of whatever funds they have stolen. “Definitely, just resigning is not the answer to this matter. We want first to ensure that we put structures in place that will prevent a repetition of this king of thing in the future…But more importantly, we also want the president to take responsibility because the evidence now shows that himself was privy to some of the things that were happening. We want him to apologize to the people of Kenya or dissolve his government and call for fresh elections.”