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Cooperatives PS Patrick Kiburi Fingered In Linturi’s Fake Fertilizer Bribery Scandal

A section of lawmakers now want thorough investigations into claims that money changed hands with a view to exonerate Linturi from blame in the fake fertiliser scandal probe.

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Patrick Kiburi Kilemi, the Principal Secretary, Ministry of Co-operatives and Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises (MSMEs), has been adversely mentioned in the alleged bribery scandal in parliament over the exoneration of Agriculture CS Mithika Linturi in the fake fertilizer saga.

The National Assembly’s special committee committee probing Linturi’s impeachment has been accused of being compromised and taking bribes to clear the CS.

Sources claim that each of the members were offered with up to Sh5 million for a favorable report.

Its reported PS Kiburi who is a close confidant of CS  Linturi, allegedly played as the intermediary between the compromised MPs and the accused CS in negotiating for bribes.

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Kileleshwa MCA Robert Alai made the claim insisting, ‘PS Patrick Kiburi played like himself” loosely translated to mean he facilitated the transfer of cash to the MPs.

Linturi survived impeachment after the 11-member committee determined that the grounds of the impeachment motion were not substantiated.

Seven of the 11 MPs voted to save the CS.

A call for Probe

A section of lawmakers now want thorough investigations into claims that money changed hands with a view to exonerate Linturi from blame in the fake fertiliser scandal probe.

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In particular the MPs demanded that the Powers and Privileges Committee as well as other investigative agencies such as the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) be seized of the matter as it had put Parliament to shame.

The calls for the investigations  came on a day fresh details emerged over how a senior official working in parliament allegedly met Linturi on May 1 immediately after Wetangula had approved the impeachment motion, to deliberate on how to save him from ouster.

Sources privy to the intrigues, revealed that the said official assured the CS that resources would be mobilised to ensure that he is saved from ouster.

It was understood that apart from the said meeting, a lot of other underhand dealings as well as meetings were held in high offices in government where it was agreed that Linturi should be saved as he was not to blame for the alleged scandal.

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After the committee presented its findings to the House on Monday, Rarieda Member of Parliament Otiende Amollo claimed to be aware of corruption among the members.

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“I have spoken to some of the members of the select committee and a disclosure has been made to me that questions and allegations of impropriety and misconduct by some members of the committee,” he told Parliament.

“It is necessary that such an issue is referred to the powers and privileges committee first because if there is any truth in it would result in the report being annulled. It would not be right to discuss that report.”

Speaking separately, Nominated MP John Mbadi was categorical that EACC should be called in to investigate  the matter which has put parliament to shame. He said it is regrettable that Sh5 million was being mentioned as the buying price for members  to save Linturi.

He said: “I think those are not issues that you can just wish away. In fact, the amount has been mentioned and there is consistency in the amount. This matter needs to be dealt with by the Powers and Privileges Committee and it may even go to the extent of asking EACC to investigate because it is very unfortunate and if it happened then the Members affected have a lot of explanations to do.”

He added: “The day before yesterday (Monday), the figure of Sh5 million has been mentioned, on Monday the same amount was still being mentioned. To me that is a serious matter more so that this is an issue that is of serious interest to the country in terms of compromising the food security.”

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‘I was offered the bribe’

Busia Woman Rep Catherine Omayo who was part of the special committee has claimed that someone attempted to bribe her to vote in favor in the impeachment case against Linturi.

In an interview with Citizen TV, Omayo stated that most of the committee members tasked with determining Linturi’s fate were approached with bribes to sway their decision in favor of the CS.

“Someone came to me with Ksh.2 million, and another came saying the money had increased to Ksh.3 million because the report against Linturi was hot. At some point these people asked me to state what I wanted to favour the CS,” Omanyo said.

“The other person asked me to say what I wanted at that time so that we go where the person is or he will come here.”

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She revealed that the committee members were given bribes, but some declined to be compromised.

List of the select committee

1.Naomi Waqo- Marsabit Woman Rep

  1. Robert Mbui –Kathiani MP
  2. Rachael Nyamai- Kitui South MP
  3. Samuel Chepkonga- Ainabkhoi MP
  4. George Murugara-Tharaka MP
  5. T.J Kajwang- Ruaraka MP
  6. Jane Maina- Kirinyaga Woman Representative
  7. Moses Injendi – Malava MP
  8. Kassim Tandaza –Matuga MP
  9. Catherine Omanyo- Busia Woman Representative
  10. Yussuf Farah- Wajir West MP

The committee held twelve sittings to investigate the proposed dismissal of the Agriculture and Livestock Development CS.

According to Naomi Waqo the chairperson of the committee, four members dissented and made it publicly known to the committee.

However, seven out of the 11 committee members investigating the fake fertilizer scam voted to save Linturi.

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While presenting the report, Naomi Waqo informed the House that the Committee found that allegations against the Cabinet Secretary were unsubstantiated.

This meant that there will be no further proceedings on the matter.

The Motion for the proposed removal of the CS was moved by Bumula MP Jack Wamboka, on the grounds of alleged gross misconduct.

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Also cited was the gross violation of the Constitution and reasons to believe the CS committed a crime under national law.

In response to the outcome of the impeachment, Wamboka accused MPs of betraying Kenyans by letting Linturi off the hook over the fake fertilizer scandal.

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“The unanimous decision of 149 members representing over 30M Kenyans cannot be overturned by the influenced 7 members of the select committee. Their decision is a betrayal in the city to the hardworking Kenyans in our villages,” he said.

Despite the setback dealt by the select committee’s decision, Wamboka has stated that he will not tire until justice is served to Kenyan farmers and Linturi is dismissed.

“We will not relent in pursuit of this fake fertilizer scandal that has rendered farmers hopeless and endangered the country’s food security,” Wamboka said.

“There is no doubt that all evidence and witnesses proved beyond reasonable doubt that Linturi as the head of the docket was liable for the mess, scam and failures.”

Minority Leader Opiyo Wandayi described the committee’s decision as a case of the House’s ruling being overturned by a group of seven people.

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“There is a higher moral responsibility on the cabinet secretary and the appointing authority, following the overwhelming 149-against-36 vote in this House last Thursday. This matter should not even have gone to the select committee stage,” said Wandayi.

He urged Parliament to refuse to recognize Linturi as the Minister for Agriculture until President Ruto yields and dismisses the CS.


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