It is mind boggling to read this kind of garbage from the media that a full deputy- prime- minister of a coalition government is actually trying to justify corruption/and or a mismanagement-and in a not so covert way...... Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta also defended the Finance Minister saying that he was being subjected to a “lynching mob".
And also that there were actually some skin heads demonstrating. So I am not sure what the demonstrators were trying to prove- That embezzling/fleecing public assets are birth rights for some people/group? me think not. But will be interesting to see how this one spins out.
Actually two groups were demonstrating in support of Mr. Kimunya drawing mixed reactions from police as one was dispersed with teargas while the other marched to the hotel at the centre of the onslaught against the minister.
The first group, led by Lang’ata politician Stanley Livondo and comprising about 500 protesters, marched from the Arboretum grounds to the city centre before anti-riot police intercepted them. Waving placards, the group ignored an order from a senior police officer not to proceed to Parliament, forcing him to call for reinforcements. "You need a permit to have a procession and since you have not requested one, you should disperse,” said the officer.
Mr Livondo defied the order and urged the protesters to continue with their march.“You cannot stop us from conveying our message. These MPs who are accusing the minister are known to be corrupt and cannot throw stones at him,” he said. Mr Livondo accused Prime Minister Raila Odinga of pretending that he was not aware of the deal.
Mr Odinga has said he was briefed by Central Bank of Kenya governor Prof Njuguna Ndung’u as claimed by Mr Kimunya on Wednesday but added that at the time, there were conflicting statements from gorvernment officials about the sale of the hotel.
Meanwhile, the other group of demonstrators marched from Jevanjee Gardens to Mr Kimunya’s Treasury Building office. They chanted “Kimunya kaa Ngumu (Kimunya stay put!)” as they marched through the streets carrying placards. Some of their placards read “No Kimunya, No cabinet, MPs must be taxed, MPs are pretending.”
A spokesman, Mr Hosea Mwangi said the group comprised “concerned Nairobians” agitated by the fact that some of the MPs calling for Mr Kimunya’s resignation had been involved in mega scandals.“They are crucifying Kimunya because of his proposal to tax them. If he has done anything wrong, he should be allowed to tell his side of the story,” he said.
He accused the MPs of trying to divert Kenyans’ attention from more important issues by hounding Mr Kimunya. The demonstrators briefly gathered outside the Grand Regency where they chanted and danced before marching to the Freedom Corner at Uhuru Park.
Another blogger's perspective captured it best:
"THE ARROGANCE OF KIMUNYA- WITH THE SUPPORT OF THE KIKUYU MAFIA THE LIKES OF WAKINA UHURU KENYATTA IS DESPICABLE!!"
God complex is the self-delusion that one has a special mission to save the world. This delusion is engendered by extreme arrogance and absence of humility. It is a disease that afflicts the rich, the powerful and the privileged.
This complex is manifested in Finance minister Amos Kimunya.
When confronted by Parliament on Wednesday with a list of misdeeds, he responded by saying how he had rid the country of land-grabbers and tax dodgers, and how he had laid the institutional and legal structures to fight corruption. Mr Kimunya missed an opportunity to defend himself.
The minister is young, compared to most Kenyan political leaders, and well read, but completely naive in political leadership. Public service demands that the leaders live by the code they preach. It does not matter how many good laws one passes; it doesn’t matter how many anti-corruption institutions are set up — what matters is whether a leader abides by them.
Mr Kimunya’s public life betrays a man with contempt for systems he has set up. In the sale of Grand Regency Hotel to Libyans, if indeed they are, he broke every law applicable. He treated the hotel as casually as one would a ball-point pen.
But let us first have a look at what happened to world leaders with arrogance milder than Mr Kimunya’s so that we may realize how we have treated him with velvet gloves. David Blunkett was born blind, yet he rose to be a close and powerful confidante of British Prime Minister Tony Blair and held various Cabinet positions, including home affairs.
Mr Blunkett had a pretty and socialite mistress called Kimberley Quin, the editor of The Spectator magazine.
Ms Quin imported a Filipino nanny called Leoncia Casalme and, as required by law, she applied for a long-term work permit which takes about a year to complete. Ms Casalme qualified for the permit, but had to wait like everyone else for the process to complete its course.
Ms Quin, being the Home Affairs minister’s mistress, did not have such patience and on April 23, 2003, asked Mr Blunkett to fast-track the process.
Indeed, five days later, the permit was issued. When this fast-tracking was leaked to the media, the United Kingdom Parliamentary Committee on Standards censured him, and he quit.
In the US, Eliot Spitzer, a celebrity attorney-general for the New York state, went about his work with such gusto and chutzpah that he rid the city of economic crimes perpetrated by the large companies.
Wall Street was shaken to the ground and many were fined billions of dollars in plea bargains. In America, the law allows companies to in certain cases pay millions of dollars to avoid criminal investigations and prosecution, but on condition that one fixes up the problem.
New York was grateful and elected Mr Spitzer governor. In the same way he rid the city of economic crimes, he changed course to now deal with crimes personal: rid the city of prostitution.
It later transpired that while fighting the vice, the governor was member No 9 of an elite prostitution group, arrogantly called VIP Emperors Club. In shame, the governor resigned when he was hounded by the media.
Mr Blunkett and Mr Spitzer did not wait to be sacked or impeached respectively; they quit when their private peccadilloes were made public. Both men demanded from the public a high moral rectitude, yet they never lived by it.
They wanted to decouple their private lives from the public perceptions they had created. The false firewall was bound to fall and it did. And both men who had just begun national leadership and on the way to higher callings, have now disappeared into obscurity.
What did, or did not, Mr Kimunya do? At the outset, we must accept the fact that the entire truth and all the details surrounding the Grand Regency sale may never be told to the public.
Building the case:
But the information available to all is enough to build a case of impropriety on the part of the minister, Central Bank, National Security Intelligence Service and errant officers at Lands ministry.
The land Grand Regency is built on falls under the Registration of Titles Act, Cap 281, which is the clearest and most elaborate of the land laws. I have argued before in these columns that all land laws should be simplified and brought together within this Act.
This Act sets out the process of registering and deregistering land titles. The registrar of titles is the chief executive for properties falling under this Act and acts without any external interference.
Sections 59 and 60 of the Act allow him to recall and cancel a title deed obtained by deception, fraud, error, misrepresentations or by mistake, as has happened here.
Mr Kimunya says the land was sold for Sh2.9 billion to the Libyan government. We now know that the land was sold for Sh1.8 billion and that the buyer is a Kenyan company with Kenyan directors who have since disowned their signatures. And the minister insists that the sale is a government-to-government deal, yet this is not true.
The minister insists also that the land was sold for Sh2.9 billion even when the evidence is to the contrary. The sale agreement conveniently splits the transaction into two parts — the actual land and the hotel’s “movable assets”.
This dichotomy is false, fraudulent and misleading. Grand Regency was being sold as a going concern, yet the sale is a cannibalized one.
As a going concern, the hotel ought to have been sold at an all-inclusive price for the land, the building, the movable assets, the business goodwill, the reputation and all other intellectual property rights it has acquired.
If Grand Regency was being bought to be used as an office block, the dichotomy may make sense. No prestigious hotel has been sold the way Grand Regency has; the valuations are ridiculous, if not deceptive.
In law, land includes the physical land, the building on it and anything annexed to it. There is a legal doctrine — quicquid plantatur solo, solo cedit — that captures the entire meaning of land law.
This doctrine is that anything attached to land is part of the land. If, therefore, the wall paintings, beds, machines and kitchens at Grand Regency are firmly fixed on the floors and walls, then they are part of the land, and not separate, as the sale agreement implies. In making these false separations, the Government may have lost stamp duty worth more than Sh44 million. Who pocketed this money?
Once Grand Regency was surrendered to Central Bank, it became a public asset and its disposal was subject to the Public Procurement and Disposal Act, 2005, and the Privatization Act, 2005. Disposal of land is specifically identified as being a transaction that falls under these two Acts.
The law demands that the process of disposal include open tendering — invitation of tenders through advertisements and competitive bidding. Above all, the entire process is subject to the Cabinet’s control and vetting. Again, other than Mr Kimunya himself, every minister who has spoken has denied knowledge of the process.
And what was the National Security Intelligence Service doing at the lands offices overseeing the registration?
Normal land transactions take at times as long as three months, yet NSIS saw to it that the Grand Regency transfer was done in a day. Section 5 of the National Security Intelligence Service Act, 1998, clearly states that the security agency’s core and only duty is to protect Kenya from threats or potential threats.
When did the Grand Regency sale become part of the national security matrix? For the umpteenth time, I wish to say that NSIS is of no value to the country. We pay it Sh8 billion a year for its officers to idle till they misinterpret their mandate to think it includes running errands for politicians or dealing in properties sales. NSIS ought to be disbanded.
Throughout the entire process of the sale, Mr Kimunya was economical with the truth. The Public Officer Ethics Act, 2003, demands of him honesty, integrity, courtesy and respect to the public and the Government. But he violated every provision in the Act.
The sale shows that mandatory provisions of the Registration of Titles Act, Cap 281; the National Security Intelligence Service Act, 1998; the Central Bank of Kenya Act, Cap 491; the Anti-Corruption and Economic Crimes Act, 2003, and the Public Officer Ethics Act, 2003, were broken with impunity by Mr Kimunya, and with the tacit support of CBK governor Njuguna Ndung’u and NSIS director-general Michael Gichangi.
Mr Kimunya, Mr Ndung’u and Maj-Gen Gichangi must be indicted if the rule of law exists in this country.
In its absence, we will know that the law is two-tracked — for the powerful and the weak. We can only respect our systems if its top officers themselves respect them. Impunity that arises from political arrogance must end.