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Opposition ODM Tells President Kibaki to Sack Anti Corruption Chief Ringera

In Kenya, leaders of the newly formed Orange Democratic Movement (ODM-Kenya) is demanding the resignation of Anti-Corruption Commission Chief Justice Aaron Ringera. This follows a written statement from former Anti-Corruption Czar John Githongo which alleges that Ringera urged him to go “soft” on his war against corruption within the country and that Githongo’s work was detrimental to many. The party also charges that Ringera lacks the seriousness to fight corruption in the country and demands that President Mwai Kibaki appoint a tribunal to investigate his handling of Kenya’s Anglo Leasing scandals.

The party accused the Kibaki-led government of politicizing the war against graft and said a recent list of Anglo Leasing misdeeds announced by Justice Minister Martha Karua was meant to silence ODM-Kenya leaders and weaken the party's campaign for power. ODM-Kenya also accused the government of failing to act on a parliamentary report on the Anglo Leasing scandal, which identifies some of its own party members in its list of dishonor.

William Ruto is a leading member of ODM-Kenya. VOA English to Africa reporter Peter Clottey asked him the party’s reasons behind the call for the dismissal of Justice Aaron Ringera.

“We the ODM are asking the president actually to in accordance with the law to appoint a tribunal to investigate the conduct of the Honorable justice Ringera. There are serious allegations that have been made by the former permanent secretary in charge of integrity Mr. Githongo. And Githongo has told the Kenyan public that in deed the director of Kenya anti-corruption told him that, he should go slow on the fight against corruption. We think now, it is very clear to us that; the NARC government is not interested in the fight against corruption, all their interested in to play politics with it. And the man who is charged with leading the fight against corruption, to us look compromised. And therefore if the president fails to appoint a tribunal by Wednesday, we intend to have a demonstration to push for the honorable Ringera to be removed from office. And his activities and conduct be a tribunal,” he said.

Ruto also questioned why he was included on the Anglo Leasing list of shame and said the Government wanted to bring down ODM-Kenya instead of fighting corruption, which it promised Kenyans.

Reacting to the assertion that the government is seen by some Kenyans to be fighting graft with the announcement of the list of shame which includes the name of some cabinet ministers as well as the vice president, Ruto said, “you will not fight graft in Kenya by calling a press conference and reading a list of people who are supposed to be investigated by the investigating authorities. If government was serious about fighting graft, there is a report that was passed by parliament that actually gave government the authority to prosecute persons involved in Anglo leasing. And they admitted including the vice president but government has decided not to implement the recommendations of the public accounts, which was adopted by parliament. And instead they have gone to engage themselves in a press conference, about issues that there is already evidence,” he noted.

He elucidates the ODM-Kenya’s next line of action if the Kibaki led government fail to adhere to their ultimatum.

“The people of Kenya will know very clearly that this is the government that does the opposite of what it says. And it will be clear to us that government is not interested in fighting graft and since they want to do politics with it, it will be a platform on which we will want to remove this government. For failure up to the expectation and the pledges they made to the people of Kenya. We expect the president to respect the wishes of the people of Kenya, and appoint a tribunal to investigate justice Ringera. And if government has nothing to hide, if government is not covering for justice Ringera, there is no reason why the president, should not appoint this tribunal,” Ruto Said.

Sources say ODM-Kenya took Kisumu town by storm as it ended the first leg of its popularity drive that has seen it through Rift Valley, Western and Nyanza provinces.

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