By Suleiman Hassan.
Garissa governor Nathif Jama has come out guns blazing against the Majority leader in the National Assembly who is also the Garissa Township MP. Mr. Aden Duale blaming him for his current woes.
Speaking at integrity center on Friday after he was grilled by the Ethics and Anti-Corruption commission, a visibly agitated Nathif termed the charges against him as witch hunt and cheap politicking.
“A member of parliament from Garissa County who holds a privileged position in the Jubilee government or for that matter in the national assembly is unfortunately behind this case, together with his henchmen who are his colleagues. It has nothing to do with clan politics, this is indeed nothing but very cheap and flimsy politicking and witch hunting” he said in a strong worded statement that alludes to Duale’s involvement in the case.
Jama questioned the way the DPP fast tracked the charges leveled against him saying such efficiency was erstwhile non-existent at the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions.
“We wonder where all that efficiency has come from when we know indeed there are files there which have been stuck for many months if not years” added Jama suggesting that the DPP might have been under pressure to see him prosecuted.
In a manner that is now becoming the modus operandi by accused persons summoned by EACC, Jama arrived at Integrity center accompanied by a huge crowd consisting of colleagues and supporters.
Four Governors led by Chair of the Council of Governors Peter Munyacha, Wajir govenor Ahmed Abdullahi, Wajir Senator Abdirahman Hassan, MPs from Garissa County and former Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly Farah Maalim were in the governor’s entourage.
“We will not accept any attempt from any quarters to use this war against corruption to settle political scores” said Munya while leaping to the defense of the embattled governor.
Wajir Senator Abdirahman Hassan asked those behind the governor’s woes not to move their individual differences to a level where ‘you put the careers of individuals at stake’.
Nathif faces charges of leasing 8 ambulances from Emergency plus limited, a company that is fully owned by the Kenya Red Cross at a monthly cost of Kshs 600,000 each in a deal signed in April last year.
Garissa is among 8 counties that have a similar lease with the Kenya Red Cross.
Wajir Governor Ahmed Abdullahi also threw his weight behind Jama saying there was nothing wrong with procuring services from the Kenya Red Cross.
“I would love to see how this plays out in court. What is criminal about the hiring of ambulances from the Red Cross which by law is supposed to provide auxiliary services to both the national and county governments?” Abdullahi posed.
On his part, Former speaker of the National Assembly Farah Maalim said that if anything, Nathif deserves praise for procuring the state-of-the-art ambulances saying they were not only well equipped, but also manned by professional paramedics paid by the Kenya Red Cross.
“Everybody knows that these ambulances did a marvelous job when Garissa witnessed the very unfortunate terror attack on Garissa University College” said Maalim.
Nathif sent a warning shot to his political antagonists daring them for a battle at the ballot come 2017.
“What I want to tell him and his henchmen is that I am starting my campaign for 2017 from today. Do not please abuse your privileged position in the national assembly to witch hunt and give us unnecessary headache as far as executing our executive powers in the county are concerned” he said.
The Anti-graft body is next week expected to charge the governor together with 7 county officials with various criminal offenses including Abuse of office and willful failure to comply with procurement regulations.