Saturday, February 19, 2005

Corruption Forum

Kenya Social Forum and Transparency International held a public debate on the War on Corruption on Feb 17th at Lillian Towers. Speakers included Gladwell Otieno, MP’s Omingo Magara & Billow Kerow, David Makali of the Standard and Patrick Kiage of the LSK.

MP Magara said
- Even though donors offered parliament free Internet connectivity, and computerization of all parliamentary processes, nothing has happened for four years.
- He has to use a cyber café in parliament.
- As a former tax collector, he’s now shocked now that he can see how taxpayers money is spent by the government.
- A bill he introduced to make the parliamentary process open to the public was defeated. He promised to submit to TI a list of all MP’s who voted down his motion.

MP Kerrow said
- Says parliament is hampered by what it can do
- Media reporting of parliament is poor; 5 hours of debate is reduced to 1 minute on the nightly news
- Government motions and bills take up 90% of parliamentary debate time
- Parliament must publicise all that it does
- Says he asked Mwiraria about two of the phantom payments (Universal Satspace: internet bandwidth & Silversonic: police vehicles) in July 2004 that Clay spoke about – the Minister was unable to explain what the payments were for, or why he had for two years paid for a bogus deal set up by KANU
- Claims that, just before he retired, Githongo had received the Kroll Report on assets abroad held by Kenyans, including ministers. He will push for the report to be tabled in parliament.

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