[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Languages
Last Updated: Thursday, 2 February 2006, 17:03 GMT
Kenyan deputy refuses to resign
Kenya's vice-president, Moody Awori
Mr Awori was in defiant mood
Kenya's Vice-President Moody Awori has refused to resign after being linked to a corruption scandal that has shaken the Kenyan government.

It implicates senior figures in a multi-million dollar scam aimed at raising money for political campaigns.

Mr Awori defiantly protested his innocence a day after the finance minister resigned "to clear his name".

The allegations were made by the former anti-corruption tsar who says he will testify before Kenyan investigators.

After his election victory in 2002, President Mwai Kibaki appointed John Githongo to help root out corruption.

But Mr Githongo resigned a year ago and fled to the UK, amid reports that his life had been threatened because of his anti-corruption work.

Defiant

Mr Awori is one of four serving and former cabinet ministers named in a damning report by Mr Githongo, leaked just over a week ago.

I have committed no crime. How am I impeding investigations?
Vice-President Moody Awori

Mr Githongo accuses the ministers of having links to a huge contract given to a non-existent company, Anglo Leasing, to print new high-technology passports, and build navy ships and forensic laboratories.

In the report, Mr Githongo alleges that the ministers blocked investigations into the scam designed to raise money for political campaigns.

On Wednesday former Finance Minister David Mwiraria said he was stepping aside in order for investigations to take place to clear his name.

But the vice-president said he would not follow in his footsteps and told journalists that he honestly and sincerely saw no reason to step down.

"I have committed no crime. How am I impeding investigations?" he said.

Tough action

Civil rights groups, church leaders and lawyers had urged Mr Kibaki to suspend the ministers until investigations are carried out.

John Githongo
John Githongo says he stands by his allegations

Mr Githongo has agreed to testify before parliament's public accounts committee and also co-operate with Kenya's anti-corruption commission.

And in response to Mr Mwiraria's resignation, Mr Githongo said that he stood by his report, which he alleges, proves Mr Mwiraria was a key player in the Anglo Leasing scandal.

International donors have urged Kenya's president to take tough action against any cabinet ministers found to be corrupt.

The World Bank has delayed the release of $260m in loans to the country because of corruption allegations.

Mr Githongo's report also alleges that President Kibaki knew about the Anglo Leasing scam but did nothing to stop it.


SEE ALSO:
Kenyan 'graft' minister resigns
01 Feb 06 |  Africa
Graft divides Kenyan government
10 Feb 05 |  Africa


RELATED INTERNET LINKS:
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


PRODUCTS AND SERVICES

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific