• Governor defends contributions to church harambees.
• Says the most corrupt individuals have been using public institutions and the media to malign their political rivals.
Migori Governor Okoth Obado yesterday dismissed the war on corruption as "highly malicious and selective".
Without naming names, he said the most corrupt individuals have been using public institutions and the media to malign their political rivals. He spoke after opening the County Dialogue Forum in Migori town.
The event was organised by the Inter-Religious Council of Kenya. Elders and civic leaders also attended.
He accused the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission of staging "concerts" by raiding his Migori and Nairobi homes and checking his bank accounts of his family members over allegations of missing Sh2 billion in the county.
“They have been wasting taxpayers money going abroad to places where my family members don’t live. I even told them if they find the billions they say I stole, they should divide it for me because I don’t have the money,” he said.
He said the fact that the calls for a lifestyle audit fizzled out is an indication the anti-graft war was meant to settle political scores and fix individuals.
“We know leaders who have been corrupt before have companies with ghost directors. But when people like Obado open a small kiosk, they come and call for an audit,” the county chief said, adding that those who shout the loudest are the most corrupt.
“I'm willing to carry the bible and swear that some of the corruption allegations against me are fiction. Those saying Obado is corrupt are more corrupt and next time they come to Migori they should carry their bibles first.”
Obado said it was disheartening that every time he raises a query, his opponents dismiss him as a Tangatanga member.
The governor defended contributions to church harambees.
“We have political parties getting billions of taxpayers’ funds, but we have party leaders who have stood up against church donations, despite religion playing a role in promoting peace and unity,” he said.
Citing the biblical books of Haggai and Jeremiah and in an apparent reference to DP William Ruto's donations to churches, Obado said citizens and rulers are always called upon to build the house of God.
Ruto has previously come under fire from ODM leader Raila Odinga and other critics for taking huge cash donations to churches, which have also been accused of accepting dirty money linked to corruption.
“We should never condemn other leaders for giving their personal donations in churches. We should never condemn churches,” Obado said.
Obado urged elders and church leaders to advise his political foes to focus on development projects. He also cautioned against calls for a referendum.
“They can’t be going around telling Kenyans to vote in a referendum when we don’t even know whether there are articles there to kill all of us. We will first go through the drafts to approach the matter then.”