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Kenya: Foreign Minister Resigns‎

Kenya’s Foreign Minister Steps Aside Over Alleged Embassy Scam

Kenya’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Moses Wetang’ula, was stepping aside on Wednesday, after legislators were recommending he leave his post ahead of investigations into an alleged scam, involving the purchase of foreign embassy buildings.

Wetang’ula talks at a news conference in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi:

[Moses Wetang’ula, Kenya Foreign Minister]:

”I want to tell Kenyans with a clear conscience and clarity of mind that this afternoon, I have made a personal decision to step aside from my responsibilities and my appointment as Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Kenya to give room and pleasure to those who have been haunting and tormenting me for the last three, four weeks, to give room to the very able arms of investigation.”.


Investigators were urging he quit and stand trial for the loss of $14-million in a deal to buy a new embassy in Japan – in what they say, appears to be a scam.

Wetang’ula is the fourth senior official in Kenya to be hit by a corruption scandal this week.

But Wetang’ula is maintaining his innocence, saying he expects to be cleared of any wrongdoing once investigations are complete.

[Moses Wetang’ula, Kenya Foreign Minister]:

“I can assure you – without any fear of contradiction – that my innocence is guaranteed because I am absolutely clear that I have played no role in the formulation, execution – or in any manner – in the transactions that have been talked about.”

Shortly before Wetangula’s announcement, his permanent secretary, Thuita Mwangi, was also given permission to leave his post temporarily.

Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki came to power in 2002 on an anti-graft platform, and at least seven ministers have been suspended or have resigned over corruption allegations since he took office.

A study published earlier this month by Transparency International-Kenya shows that 97% of Kenyans view corruption as a big problem, in a country that has, so far, failed to jail senior public officials for graft.

Source: http://english.ntdtv.com/ntdtv_en/ns_me/2010-10-28/173210549474.html

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