Raila threatens to stage demo over ‘plot to ouster Auditor Ouko’

CORD leader Raila Odinga leads anti-IEBC protest in Nairobi on May 23, 2016. [Photo/ @benjaminwafula]

Coalitions for Reforms and Democracy (CORD) leader Raila Odinga has threatened to lead a major protest against President Uhuru Kenyatta, should he remove Auditor General Edward Ouko from office.

Speaking at Nyacheki in Kisii County on Monday, Raila alleged that there was a scheme by the government to remove Auditor General Ouko over his firmness in stemming corruption.

The CORD leader said that Ouko had caused discomfort within the government because he was sealing loopholes that the Jubilee Government had been using to allegedly siphon public funds.

Raila said that, due to his stand against misappropriation of public funds, the government was allegedly cooking up cases against Ouko with an aim of forcing the Auditor General out of office.

“They have now directed their guns on Auditor General Edward Ouko because of his stand against theft of public funds. I would like to warn President Uhuru that should he touch Ouko the whole country will rise and march to State House to remove him from office,” said Raila.

He stated that Kenyans have suffered Jubilee’s leadership, adding that he was willing to lead protests against the administration.

“We have persevered enough. We will hold protests like those held in Brazil and march to remove these thieves from office and sent them home,” the former Prime Minister said.

According to Article 229 (3) of the Constitution, the Auditor General holds office for a term of eight years and shall not be eligible for re-appointment.

The Auditor-General is required to audit and report the accounts of the national and county governments, and other independent institutions including the courts, National Assembly, Senate and County Assemblies within six months of the end of each financial year.

Ouko, who was appointed in August 2011, enjoys security of tenure, being an independent office holder. He can only be removed through a tribunal formed by the president on the recommendation of the National Assembly.

In February this year there were attempts by some members of the public to table a petition in the National Assembly to remove Ouko over allegations of nepotism.

During the State House Accountability Summit last week, President Kenyatta openly told off Ouko over his supposed plan to interrogate officials of the Federal Bank of New York over the alleged loss of Eurobond proceeds, tacitly pointing at the impossibility of the task.

“I’ve heard that he (Ouko) wants to go to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York to interrogate the case of Eurobond. Are we really serious with what we are doing?” he asked of the move.

Auditor General Edward Ouko, however, reaffirmed the importance of interrogating officials at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York in a bid to create a comprehensive report on Eurobond proceeds.

“We want a report which is clear on every aspect and for me to be able to do that, I have to get the side of the story from all parties involved,” Ouko said.

Claims of the theft of Eurobond have been a thorn in the Jubilee administration, with the Opposition using it in their campaign rallies to depict the lack of transparency in the Government.

Raila has in several rallies claimed that the Eurobond money was received aboard and stolen there, saying the only thing that Kenyans received was debt.

“Right now everyone in this country has a debt hovering over their head, even the unborn child. The moment they are born, they are slapped with the Ksh.85, 000 debt, all because of the theft of Eurobond money,” said Raila at a rally in Kakamega in September.

Early this year, Raila named several individuals in and out of government suspected of benefiting from the Eurobond proceeds.

Jubilee has, however, refuted the claims saying the money was injected in various development projects in the country.

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Story By Benjamin Wafula
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