Wed. Jul 17th, 2019

Arrest looters not whistleblowers, DCI told

Haki Africa executive director Hussein Khalid speaking during a press conference on MPs' house allowance perks terming them illegal and blatant theft at his office on April 7, 2019 Image: Courtesy

BY MWAKWAYA RAYMOND

Civil society organisations (CSOs) want the Directorate of Criminal Investigation boss George Kinoti to deal with criminal actors and the corrupt instead of the whistleblowers claiming this is interfering with the war against graft.

In a signed statement on behalf of five other CSOs, the Haki Africa executive director Hussein Khalid expressed disappointment that the DCI was busy arresting the ‘wrong people’ and leaving those looting the country’s economy.

He told the criminal boss to stop such arrests and threats to members of the nongovernmental organisations (NGOs) saying should instead direct his efforts on those committing social or economic felonies.

On Monday this week, the DCI arrested the controversial human rights activist Boniface Mwangi on accusation of planning a revolution against the Jubilee government over the ongoing cases of corruption.

Turning to the issue of MPs’ perks, Mr Khalid gave a 14-day ultimatum to the DCI to arrest all those legislators who took part in passing the allowances saying they were ‘illegally and unlawfully’.

“This latest allowance is a clear manifestation that National Assembly and the Senate have lost touch with the people and lack moral authority to represent them,” he said adding the Salaries and Remunerations Commission should immediately cancel those allowances and force the MPs to refund already submitted perks.

Kenyans have reacted angrily after learning that their parliamentarians had awarded themselves hefty house allowances of Sh250,000 per month on their backs sparking a public outcry of ‘greedy’ on the part of the elected leadership.

Haki Africa executive director Hussein Khalid chatting with other Civil Society Organisations colleagues after a press conference at his office on April 7, 2019
Image: Courtesy

The six CSOs that signed the statement including Human Rights Agenda ( Huria), Institute for Land Governance and Human Rights, Sisters for Justice, The Institute for Human Rights and EmpowerHer vowed to conduct a series of demonstrations until MPs refunded their monies.

“How greedy are our leaders to the extent of awarding themselves of these allowances when they already enjoy the mortgage perks?” they posed.

Apart from this, the societies said they would move to court to seek legal redress if their 14-day ultimatum elapses without any action taken against them.

The SRC has already distanced itself saying it was not consulted nor did it authorise the payments to the legislators.

Terming the allowances as ‘shameless and blatant move aimed at mercilessly siphoning money from the cash stricken citizens, the CSOs expressed shock over the lawmakers’ outright theft and plunder of public resources.

The allowance awards are backdated by 10 months thus making each member them to pocket at least Sh2.25 million in their April salaries.

They want the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) and the Office of the Director of Public Prosecution (ODPP) to move with speed and investigate the matter with intent to take action against those found culpable.

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