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Anglo Leasing payments an insult to Kenyans: CORD

29 April 2014, 12:59 William Korir

Nairobi - The move by the government to pay off companies linked to the Anglo Leasing scandal over KES 1.4 billion has heightened debate over the opulent spending by the state.

The government, through chief legal adviser Attorney General Githu Muigai has said it does not intend to further contest the cases pending in court since it does not have any grounds to actually win them.

It thus means that the government will pay off the companies KES 125 billion in payments and legal costs.

Kenyans, led by the opposition CORD coalition, civil society and the Consumer Federation of Kenya COFEK have already stated that the move by government will send out the wrong message to Kenyans as regards government spending, priorities and corruption.

According to CORD leaders, paying off the 'ghost' firms is akin to rewarding corruption.

" We cannot be seen top be rewarding corruption which in essence is what making the payment will do, CORD principal Kalonzo Musyoka says.

" The government must state its priorities and act to cement them, not go back and pay off companies that do not deserve tax payers' funds, he added.

His counterpart Moses Wetangula is of the opinion that making the payment will be a kick in the teeth for Kenyans who have been side-stepped with funding for key projects such as devolution.

" The government cannot claim not to have money to fund devolution and then make such a payment. That is not good, he said.

But the government insists that it has to pay the funds in-order to get it off it's payment book and reduce increasing levels of interest.

" The government has no choice. The cases have been lost and the only logical thing to do is to pay so as not to delay the inevitable, AG Muigai says.

Kenyans though feel that the government is slowly losing trust and momentum that it had picked up in the  first few months in office with some ludicrous decisions.

" The government has lost its way. Some of its projects are out of touch with the reality on the ground. The laptop tender and now the Anglo-leasing payments are not in order, Ezekiel Kimani a Nairobi based lawyer quips.

" They might have a logical and informed view but making such payments does not appeal to Kenyans, he added.

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