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Louise Turnbridge on Focus on Africa
"Parliament voted to remove names of corruption suspects"
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Wednesday, 19 July, 2000, 15:26 GMT 16:26 UK
Kenyan MPs dump 'List of Shame'
Kenyan parliament
The ruling party has a majority in Kenya's Parliament
Fighting erupted in Kenya's parliament as the government moved to have the names of prominent politicians and senior civil servants removed from a corruption report dubbed the "List of Shame".

The list, published in May, linked Vice-President George Saitoti, President Moi's son, Phillip, influential minister Nicholas Biwott and a number of cabinet ministers to corruption and scandal.

But during a turbulent parliamentary session on Tuesday, when two MPs exchanged blows, the ruling party with the help of some opposition members won a vote that removed dozens of names from the list.

It's very sad. This shows that the government is not committed to fighting corruption.

Musikari Kombo, Chairman probe committee

Kenya has featured prominently on international corruption tables and key donors, including the IMF have suspended aid in protest at rampant official corruption.

The IMF board is due to meet next week to discuss a new lending programme to Kenya.

The chairman of a parliamentary select committee which had recommended an investigation, Musikari Kombo, said the vote against the list showed the government was not committed to tackling corruption.

"It is very sad, this shows that the government is not committed to fighting corruption," Mr Kombo told the press. "Donors can now see there is no willingness."

Moi's son

During debate on the parliamentary inquiry report, the ruling party Kanu was joined by a section of the opposition National Development Party, NDP, to have the names of individuals expunged from parliamentary records.

The government argued that those named were not given a chance to defend themselves.

The select committee had recommended that those listed should be investigated and brought to court if necessary.

President Daniel arap Moi
Moi's aides and relatives accused of graft

Vice-President George Saitoti is named in connection with a huge financial scam known as the Goldenberg Scandal.

The report recommended that President Moi's son, Phillip, should be prosecuted for allegedly evading duty on six imported Mercedes Benz cars.

The report said corrupt officials in the provincial administration had defrauded the government of some $700m in the past decade.

The report suggests that a partial amnesty should be offered to officials who own up to corruption within a year and who pay back stolen money.

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