BY SAM ALFAN.
Fomer Ethics and Governance Permanent Secretary, John Githongo, was on Wednesday accused of having been the hatchet man of “the Kiambu Mafia” in their war against “the Mount Kenya Mafia” over the control of corrupt deals in retired President Mwai KIbaki’s administration.
Githongo was reportedly dubbed “the baby” of the Kiambu clique of powerful politicians who allegedly assigned him to help remove former cabinet ministers Chris Murungaru (Internal Security) and Kiraitu Murungi (Justice and Constitutional Affairs) through the millstone of corruption.
The High Court was treated to rare drama during Githongo’s cross-examination by lawyer Kioko Kilukumi , who dismissed as “mere gossip” his alleged secret tape-recording of conversations between him, Kiraitu and former Finance minister David Mwiraria in 2004 regarding Dr Murungaru’s alleged involvement in corruption.
The bone of contention was Githongo’s disputed discussion with Kiraitu at the former minister’s Sheria House office on June 29, 2004, regarding the possibility of having Dr Murungaru arrested and charged over corrupt deals in some of the 18 Government security-related Anglo-Leasing contracts.
Kiraitu reportedly flatly said the corruption allegations had been made against several cabinet ministers and he could not allow any prosecution against Dr Murungaru.
The former PS told High Court Judge Joseph Sergon that Kiraitu did not present him with any evidence of corruption implicating the former Kieni Member of Parliament but that he was being discussed openly by his cabinet colleages as the architect and perpetrator of shady lucrative deals under his portfolio.
Githongo caused laughter when he said that Kiraitu reportedly told him he was being used by a group of Kiambu politicians who wanted Dr Murungaru, who was perceived to be among influential personalities from Mt Kenya, removed from the Internal Security docket so that they could access fat kick-backs.
“I dismissed the claim since I disapproved of the tag of Mt Kenya mafia that had dealt a blow to the Narc Government that had been elected on the platform of zero-tolerance on corruption,”
Githongo said he had discussed at length with former Comptroller of State House, Matere Keriri, when elders from Kiambu reportedly complained that there were very few of their kinsmen in powerful positions in Kibaki’s administration.
Githongo’s name was included in a list presented to Keriri but the former PS insisted that it be removed.
The hearing of the defamation case lodged by Dr Murungaru against Githongo will continue on Thursday morning before Justice Sergon