Kimilili MP Didmus Barasa and his Bumula counterpart Mwambu Mabonga have denied they received a bribe to shoot down the sugar report.
Speaking during a talk show on Sulwe FM yesterday, the two Bungoma MPs said reports that their names appeared in a list of bribed lawmakers is malicious and meant to tarnish their names.
“A lawmaker tried to bribe Sirisia MP John Waluke and I with Sh10,000 each but we refused. In fact, I took the photos and the video, which I will present as evidence to the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission offices,” Barasa said.
Mabonga said he wasn’t present during the session. “Seeing my name on the list of MPs who received the bribe is meant to taint my good name. I have hotel receipts that will exonerate me from this whole bribery saga,” he said.
The two MPs promised to protect local sugarcane farmers by dealing with cartels importing contraband and unfit sugar.
“We will not allow unscrupulous businessmen with state protection to endanger lives of Kenyans while making a killing,” Barasa said. Mwambu said to save the local sugar firms, the report shot down by MPs should be passed by Parliament.
The two MPs castigated National Assembly Majority leader Aden Duale and his minority counterpart John Mbadi for protecting sugar cartels by making sure the report by a joint parliamentary committee chaired by Kieni MP Kanini Kega is shot down.
“Treasury CS Henry Rotich is to blame for the importation of cheap sugar. He should resign,” the Kimilili lawmaker said. Kimaeti MCA Jack Wambulwa yesterday said he will mobilise residents to vote out the MPs in 2022 for not defending cane farmers and the sugar factories’ welfare.
Reports of bribery on the sugar report have gained credence after two MPs stated they were approached with bribes to shoot down the report.
Kiambu woman representative Gathoni Wamuchomba and Naivasha MP Jayne Kihara recounted how MPs were approached to reject the report of the joint committee on Trade and Agriculture.
Wamuchomba said some MPs were bribed in Parliament’s toilets while Kihara said some of her colleagues indeed received the cash before the report was tabled. “They were telling us that money is not our mother’s [sic] and that we were being too arrogant. They went to the toilets and corridors to dish out money,” Wamuchomba said in Kiandutu slums, Thika.
Kihara said one MP from Nakuru told her Jubilee decided to ‘kill’ the report. “The MP told me he had been sent to make sure MPs from Nakuru did not pass the motion,” she said. Minority leader John Mbadi said he did not whip his members to reject the report.
Kieni MP Kanini Kega, who co-chaired the joint committee that authored the report, blamed Speaker Justin Muturi, National Assembly Majority leader Aden Duale and Mbadi for the rejection of the report. He said Muturi denied members of his committee an opportunity to contribute during the stormy debate