By Derrick Kiplagat
Ministry of Defense Principal Secretary Mutea Iringo on Monday told the Powers and Privileges Committee, PPC, that he is innocent of bribery allegations leveled against him. The defense principal secretary further refuted claims that he had promised members of the Public Accounts Committee(PAC) business opportunities at his ministry.
“I have never bribed any MP. It beats logic that someone can bribe for performing his duties. Nobody asked me for any money and I did not give anybody money,” said Iringo.
The Powers and Privileges committee, chaired temporarily by Kuresoi North MP Moses Cheboi, has also decided that they would not be using a recording submitted by PAC chairman Ababu Namwamba as evidence during its investigations.
“We are specifically dealing with what is in the Hansard because it is in a paper written by the chair of PAC to the speaker,” Mr. Cheboi said before Mr. Iringo’s questioning begun.
Mr. Iringo also denied claims that he once spoke to Mr. Namwamba using a phone belonging to Kesses MP. James Bett, one of the PAC members opposed to Namwamba. PPC members Mr. Cheboi, Mr. Kimani Ichung’wa ( MP Kikuyu) and Ms. Joyce Emanikor (Turkana Woman Rep) said Mr. Bett and Mr. Namwamba had insisted that they made the call to Mr. Iringo over lunch hour on an unidentified date after meeting him.
However, Mr. Iringo insisted he could not deny talking to Mr. Bett saying he knew him even before he became Member of Parliament for Kesses. However, he denied ever having the said phone conversation with the two men.
The Principal Secretary appeared before PAC on September 29 and October 1 and 2 over audit questions in the 2012/2013 financial year. He told PAC that the money was used by the GSU, Directorate of Criminal Investigations, the Immigration Department, the Commission of Refugees, Registration of Persons and National Administration. It is alleged that Iringo had bribed members of the PAC to doctor their report on the inquiry and made several promises including business opportunities in the defense department.
He said that these allegations leveled against him are calculated at demeaning him and achieving other motives.
Investigations into the matter are ongoing.