From left: Central Kenya MPs Mary Wambui (Othaya), Dennis Waweru (Dagoretti South) and Florence Kajuju (Meru) address the Press at Parliament Buildings yesterday. PHOTO: BONIFACE OKENDO/Standard

From left: Central Kenya MPs Mary Wambui (Othaya), Dennis Waweru (Dagoretti South) and Florence Kajuju (Meru) address the Press at Parliament Buildings yesterday. PHOTO: BONIFACE OKENDO/Standard

The MPs dared Uhuru to nominate Monica Juma again and claimed, without any evidence, that she lacked clean hands due to a conflict of interest related to a Ministry of Interior tender.

Through Kandara MP Alice Wahome, they alleged that a firm linked to Juma?s husband, Peter Kagwanja, had bid for the Sh6 billion insurance contract for the National Police Service.

But Mr. Kajwanja dismissed the allegations and accused Ms. Wahome of malice.

?This is pure jealousy. I come from the same constituency as Alice Wahome and I am surprised that she has brought village politics to the national platform? I was not appointed. I am not the one being vetted,? said Kagwanja.

Even as condemnation of their actions continue, Jubilee MPs from President Uhuru Kenyatta?s backyard dared him to nominate Monica Juma again for the post of Secretary to the Cabinet.

The 15 TNA MPs chose the safety of Parliment Grounds to strike their uncharacteristic pose against the President and make other unsettling allegations on why the nomination was opposed largely by Jubilee MPs who usually back the Head of State?s nominees with barely a murmur of discontent.

They vowed that Dr Juma would face similar fate if Uhuru re-submits her name, although under Parliamentary rules, this can only happen after six months.

Kandara MP Alice Wahome, even went further to sensationally link Juma?s failure to secure the National Assembly?s backing to a row within the Jubilee government over the Sh6 billion police insurance cover.

With her colleagues nodding vigorously at her sides, Ms Wahome claimed that two prominent insurance firms were fighting to be awarded the lucrative deal and one was linked to Juma?s husband, Peter Kagwanja, who was an adviser in President Mwai Kibaki?s government.

The MPs alleged they had information that the insurance deal at the Interior Ministry, whose accounting officer is the Principal Secretary, Juma, is not above board.

?Let her (Interior PS) not fool the world,? said Wahome, who sits in the National Assembly?s Administration and National Security Committee that recommended the PS?s rejection for the top job, ironically after praising her credentials.

Also present at the press conference were MPs Dennis Waweru (Dagoretti South), Alice Ng?ang?a (Thika Town), John Waiganjo (Ol Joro Orok), Peter Weru (Mathira), Mary Wambui (Othaya), Florence Kajuju (Meru), Njoroge Baiya (Githunguri), Priscilla Nyokabi (Nyeri), Mary Njoki (Nakuru), Agnes Machira (Laikipia), Mburu Kahangara (Lari) and Jude Njomo (Kiambu).

However, Mr Kagwanja dismissed the claims as callous and malicious.

?This is pure jealousy. I come from the same constituency with Alice Wahome and I am surprised that she has brought village politics to the national platform. We come from the same village, and I don?t understand why she has brought our differences to the public job. I was not appointed, I am not the one being vetted,? he said.

He said before his wife was Interior principal secretary, he used to advise then Interior Cabinet Secretary Joseph ole Lenku and his predecessor Katoo ole Metito formally and informally on security matters.

The security consultant said he lost a job when his wife was appointed.

?I am not even in the insurance field. I make enough money from the University of Nairobi to feed my children and take care of my family and to do all that I want to do. I don?t need tenders to do so. And even if I were to lobby, I?d do it professionally. I perfectly understand what conflict of interest is, and we all know the boundaries,? he said.

But the MPs said they were independent and would not be used as rubber stamps for Jubilee policies.

Wahome alleged that the committee had found out that Sh2 billion meant for police operations under the ministry was unspent with less than 15 days to the end of the financial year, yet the police are ill equipped to fight insecurity.

The Jubilee lawmakers from Central region said they would not apologise for their decision to reject the Interior Principal Secretary.

?We stand firm by the decision of the committee,? said Wahome.

The MPs, who kept on pledging their loyalty to the ?President and his deputy?, said they were unlikely to welcome any attempt to review the decision.

?Our support for the President and his deputy is not negotiable, but when the House makes a decision, that?s the end of the matter. We are not apologetic,? said Waweru.

Ms. Ng?ang?a said the national Assembly is independent and the Executive should accept their verdict.

?The President brings those nominees to us so that we tell them whether they fit or not. We are not here to be always saying ?yes?. We can say ?No?. The President nominates, Parliament approves,? she said.

National Assembly Administration and National Security Committee Chairman Asman Kamama (Tiaty) said they were not bribed to reject the nominee.

?I want to deny categorically that some people tried to influence the committee in one way or another. The committee is clean and all MPs are actually spotless. Nobody took any cent from anyone,? said Mr Kamama.

He said anyone with evidence that an MP was bribed to reject Juma or tried to extort, should forward the complaint to the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission and the Director of Public Prosecutions.

National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi said the matter will not be re-opened before the six-month timeline elapses.

By Alphonce Shiundu, The Standard

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