Kirinyaga Governor Joseph Ndathi at the Milimani Law Court during the trial of former Foreign Affairs PS Thuita Mwangi, former ambassador Anthony Muchiri and Allan Mburu the Charge d’Affairs at the Tokyo Embassy.
.BY SAM ALFAN.
Kirinyaga Governor Joseph Ndathi was Monday put in task over the illegal working permits of the Artur brothers Margaryan and Sargayan I in the country.
Ndathi sought to distance himself from allegations by the defence that the reason as to why he was not privy of the planned purchase was because he was transferred from the ministry of immigration on disciplinary grounds over the Arthur Brothers saga.
“I can confirm to this court that my transfer was normal and it had nothing to do with the Arthur brothers and in the event that I was implicated I was supposed to have been suspended and not transferred,” he said.
The governor said that he appeared before a parliamentary committee that cleared him of any wrongdoing when he served as director of immigration at the ministry.
He further told a Nairobi court that he could only take responsibility for letters that he drafted, signed and released over the purchase of the Tokyo property. Ndathi the then director of administration claimed that senior Ministry of Foreign Affairs officials took advantage of him as the chairman of the Ministerial Tender Committee (MTC) as he was new in the ministry and went ahead to purchase the Tokyo property.
“I required time to understand how the ministry operated and by extension I needed to acclimatize myself with the planned purchase. I even warned my deputy to take caution before signing any document,” the governor said.
Ndathi who was testified at the trial of former Foreign Affairs PS Thuita Mwangi, former ambassador Anthony Muchiri and Allan Mburu the Charge d’Affairs at the Tokyo Embassy, informed Senior Principal Magistrate Doreen Mulekyo that all decisions of the MTC were forwarded to the PS for implementation.
“The decisions made by the MTC were final but in a situation where concurrence of the PS was required then my hands were tied,” Ndathi said.
He said he was informed by Muchiri that the treasury had allocated funds for the Tokyo property in January but a letter confirming the same was tabled before the MTC in March 2009.
However Ndathi was put to task by Muchiri’s lawyer Wilfred Nderitu to explain why he should not take responsibility since his committee approved the purchase of the property on April 24,2009. “If the MTC was the final decision-making organ I could take responsibility but all the decisions of the committee were supposed to be sanctioned by the PS as the accounting officer,” Ndathi said.
“How come you did not raise the alarm all along and you continued to chair the MTC?” Nderitu posed.
“When we met as the ministry’s budget committee from September to December 2009, on the basis of my experience on procurement and time constraints that such a purchase required, I first raised the issue with the committee but I was overruled,” he said.
He said the Ps who chaired the budget committee informed the committee that there was enough time to procure the property within budgetary cycle.
The witness was however put to task to explain why he cleared his deputy to travel to Tokyo to assess the property yet he was opposed to its purchase. He said he cleared him because of the initial plans to purchase the plot that was offered by the Japanese government.