By Mutinda Mwanzia
Water Minister Charity Ngilu has come out fighting over allegations that she commissioned an incomplete borehole in Kangundo District, Machakos County. She accused Vice-President Kalonzo Musyoka of being behind a campaign to discredit her. Ngilu also claimed that the Kenya Anti-Corruption Commission (KACC) was engaging in "political witchhunt" and was being used to settle scores by certain politicians ahead of the 2012 General Election.
"I want to tell those using the commission to fight me that I will not be cowed. I will not be intimidated," said Ngilu. However, the Vice-President distanced himself from Ngilu's claims. "Nothing could be further from the truth. The VP is neither behind her tribulations nor does he consider her a political rival. If anything, he is on record defending her saying investigations should not be tools for witchhunt," said the VP's spokesman Kaplich Barsito through a statement.
She said KACC had been turned into a political tool to do dirty jobs for a select clique of well-connected operatives. "KACC has failed in its fight against graft. Period," said Ngilu. She said that she was ready to face her accusers in any court, adding that her work at the ministry was well known.
"I have done the best I can to give Kenyans water in many parts of the country," said the Kitui Central MP. Ngilu was speaking on Monday at Ndovoini borehole in Kangundo, which was said to be non-functional in reports carried by a section of the media. She took along ministry officials. "The borehole has running water and I wonder what KACC is talking about. Their claims are basic and absurd," protested Ngilu.
The commission also accuses the minister of breach of trust and conspiracy to defraud the Government after she launched Ndovoini borehole, which allegedly ran dry soon after it was commissioned. But on Monday, Ngilu and her team found hundreds of villagers drawing water from the borehole.
The media report had it that Director of Public Prosecutions Keriako Tobiko had last week received two files from KACC on the Water ministry with reports emerging that the company that completed the work, Broad Vision Utilities, was paid Sh2.9 million. Tourism Assistant minister Cecily Mbarire's husband, Dennis Apaa, owns the firm. It was recently at the centre of corruption allegations involving PLO Lumumba, the former KACC director.Last Edited: Tue 20th September 2011 at 07:39:57 AM