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Govt to pay KES 1.2 billion Anglo Leasing fine

04 June 2014, 15:44 Samuel Kisika

Nairobi – The Controller of Budget, Agnes Odhiambo has revealed that the government faces another KES 1.2 billion debt as fine for delaying payment of the recently cleared KES 1.4 billion Anglo Leasing debt.

Odhiambo admitted that she approved the payment of the KES 1.4 billion Anglo Leasing debt due to the Parliament’s filure to approve it and Treasury’s unreliable provision of documents requesting her to approve.

“I had earlier declined to approve the payment of KES 1.4 billion to the two Anglo Leasing companies because the National Assembly and Treasury had not availed adequate information to convince me to approve the payment," said Odhiambo.

“However, after going through the Attorney General’s letter stating that there was no more avenues to appeal, the Ethics and Anti-corruption Commission’s letter demanding investigations into the matter and the Treasury’s letter stating that the debt was subjecting the country’s foreign assets to loss, I did thorough analysis and professional consultation in addition to the Constitution’s provisions of Article 221 and 223 before approving the payment,” she added.

The Controller of Budget held that neither the Executive nor the Attorney General’s office nor the Treasury compelled her to approve the payment since her office is constitutionally independent to work in the interest of the public.

Odhiambo said the Parliament should carry out thorough investigations into the Anglo Leasing including the past government payments where she revealed the Kibaki government in 2006 went ahead to pay KES 1.77 billion to Anglo Leasing companies, Universal Satspace and First Mercantile Securities Corporation, despite the contracts having been cancelled in August 2004.

“For a long time, we were not aware of those behind the Anglo Leasing contracts but now we know them. The Parliament should investigate without further delay to the root cause of this matter for its architects to face the full force of the law and the public to know the truth,” said Odhiambo.

She noted that the KES 1.4 billion Anglo Leasing payment was legitimate but the Parliament has the mandate to carry out thorough investigations to bring to book those involved in the signing of the controversial contracts that have cost the taxpayer’s money.

The Controller of Budget also stated that she is yet to receive formal information from the Anglo Leasing companies demanding payment of the alleged extra KES 3 billion although she has been reading about the claims in newspapers. She assured that once she receives formal information, she will act on it as required by the constitution to safeguard the public interest.

“I don’t support corruption and can’t approve anything until lawfully convinced. I want to assure Kenyans that I will serve the nation without fear or favor in discharging my duties,” stated Odhiambo.

She further revealed that the country is faced with over KES 570 million debts to be paid in August from the syndicated loan of USD 600 million or approximately KES 52 billion it extended for the May payment.

The Controller of Budget was responding to the Parliamentary Public Accounts Committee (PAC) chaired by Budalang’i MP, Ababu Namwamba. Probe into the payment of the KES 1.4 billion Anglo Leasing debtis ongoing.   

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