I never looted Mumias, says Kidero


Nairobi Governor Evans Kidero has dared persons with evidence linking him to financial impropriety during his tenure at Mumias Sugar Company to present it to the c instead of making unsubstantiated claims in public forums.

“Those with evidence should report to DPP or CID instead of making wild allegations at public rallies. The people who are guilty of bringing Mumias Sugar Company down are in court. I am not one of them,” he said. “When someone questions where I got my money from, I wonder! I was the director of a company and I was earning a salary, does he think I was getting bananas as my salary?” posed Kidero.

“You cannot determine the guilt of a person in a public rally.” Kidero’s remarks come in the wake of claims by Kakamega Senator Boni Khalwale last Wednesday that the governor was among individuals behind the collapse of the sugar miller during his tenure as managing director. Kidero warned Khalwale to brace himself for a legal battle as he was not going to take the accusations lying down.

This is even as Tobiko told a Senate Committee on Legal Affairs that investigations into the sugar miller’s woes are at an advanced stage. The Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) and the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) are also investigating former top managers and directors accused of crippling the company. But Kidero defended his nine-year tenure at the helm of Mumias Sugar, saying he was not to blame for its troubles.

“I joined the company as managing director when it was incurring losses in millions and left when it was making billions of shillings in profits,” said the governor adding: “I found a rundown company on the verge of collapse, with losses totaling Sh244 million for the 2002/03 financial year.” Company collapse Speaking during a church service Gethsemane Ministry in Donholm yesterday, the governor said he would not respond to questions about MSC after he left the place.

He accused his successor of engaging in blatant mismanagement practices that saw the farmer disregarded. Former Nairobi Mayor George Aladwa and former Makadara MP Reuben Ndolo, who accompanied Kidero, also criticised Khalwale for linking Kidero to the collapse of the company. The former mayor said the perceptions and allegations are based on a draft audit report by KPMG.

“Kidero is not the Kakamega Governor. He should take his theatrics there,” he said. Ndolo said they will rally behind Kidero and would deal with those bent on tarnishing his name. “We will not sit and watch as one of us is being fought. Whoever has the evidence of misappropriation, let him bring it,” he said. On Friday, Kidero gave Khalwale three days to apologise for allegedly defaming him.

Through lawyer Tom Ojienda, the governor asked Khalwale to publish the apology in at least two newspapers of national circulation. If Khalwale fails to apologise and admit liability, the lawyer has warned that Kidero would institute a suit against him for defamation. Meanwhile, Nairobi county government has earmarked Sh11 billion for road projects and Sh2 billion for the expansion and rehabilitation of Pumwani Maternity Hospital.