CORD Leader Raila Odinga wants President Uhuru Kenyatta summoned as a witness in his legal duel with beleaguered Devolution Cabinet Secretary Anne Waiguru. 

In what is becoming an ugly legal battle, Raila called Uhuru “a critical and essential witness” to explain, among other things, why Waiguru’s name was erased from the List of Shame presented to Parliament on March 26.

In an affidavit dismissing Waiguru’s defamation suit, the former Prime Minister said he is privileged by law as the opposition leader to promote integrity and keep the government in check. The document was seen exclusively by the Star.

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“During the hearing of this case, the defendant will seek leave of this honourable Court to summon the current holder of the office of the President as a critical and essential witness whose testimony is necessary for the determination of the real matters of dispute in this case,” Raila said.

Waiguru sued Raila on September 29 for linking her to the theft of Ksh791 million at NYS, which she oversees. That was a month before further revelations of financial impropriety threatening her civil service career. It emerged this week the Devolution Ministry could have lost as much as Sh11 billion in inflated costs, including 18, custom-made condom dispensers at Ksh25,000 each.

Sex toys are listed as public assets” screams a headline in The Washington Post. Waiguru, Raila stated, has eroded public confidence in herself as a person, a woman and a public officer, adding even before the alleged defamation, the public already held “the CS in public scandal, ridicule and contempt”.

Through lawyer Paul Mwangi, Raila turned up the heat on Uhuru,saying he has failed to give the Kenyan public a satisfactory explanation why he shields Waiguru from graft allegations. “The President … has treated the Plaintiff in a manner discriminative of other Cabinet Secretaries, State Officers and Public officers,” Raila stated.

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“He [Uhuru] has not only excused the plaintiff from the same requirements [to step aside] but has used his position as President to protect her innocence and defend her from criticism and public demand for her resignation.”

After submitting his List of Shame, Uhuru suspended five CSs in what was to be a grand housecleaning. About 175 officials national and county officials were named. In his defence, Raila told the High Court Kenyans lost more than Ksh1.6 billion in irregular procurements and exaggerated consultancies when Waiguru headed IFMIS.

She was responsible for the loss, as she was both director of IFMIS and older of authority to incur expenditure, Raila said. He said heft of Sh791 million, with “more loses being reported”, was enabled by personnel and financial management decisions made by Waiguru.

Raila referred to the controversial appointment of Adan Harakhe, the NYS AIE holder among those indicted by the CID for the financial fraud. In court papers, Raila said since 2013, Uhuru has presided over a government increasingly corrupt, with the country ranking among the worst globally in graft indices. (The Star)

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