Multi-Billion Scandals That Could Bring Down CS Macharia

  • Special Envoy of the People Republic of China, Wang Yong and Cabinet Secretary for Transport, Infrastructure, Housing, Urban Development and Public Works, James Macharia (Far Right) on December 17, 2019..jpg
    Special Envoy of the People Republic of China, Wang Yong and Cabinet Secretary for Transport, Infrastructure, Housing, Urban Development and Public Works, James Macharia (Far Right) on December 17, 2019..jpg
    PSCU
  • Nyali MP Mohammed Ali on Tuesday, June 16 tabled an impeachment motion in the National Assembly to oust Transport Cabinet Secretary James Macharia.

    The MP disclosed that, so far, 90 MPs had appended their signatures to a document indicating support for the impeachment motion.

    The motion was primarily driven by Ali's opposition to Macharia's directive that all cargo imported through Mombasa be hauled via Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) to the Naivasha Inland Container Depot (ICD).

    Ali, however, leveled five allegations against the CS; and accused him of involvement in mega-graft scandals during his time at the Ministry of Health.

    Mohammed Ali when he issued bursary cheques to needy students in Nyali on February 22
    Mohammed Ali when he issued bursary cheques to needy students in Nyali on February 22, 2020
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    He accused Macharia of involvement in the scandal that rocked the Ministry of Health in 2016, in which taxpayers lost Ksh5 billion according to a report from the Auditor-General.

    In the scandal, millions were paid to companies connected to powerful individuals, despite them failing to supply medical equipment as purported in the agreement.

    "He is accused of involvement in the Ksh5B scandal during his time as Health CS. At the same time, Macharia has been accused of lethargy in the fight against corruption while the vice continues to take place," Ali noted.

    Ali further questioned links between Macharia and the embattled Suraya Property Group, accusing him of involvement in the loss of Ksh1.5 billion by members of the public who bought into various housing projects.

    When the scandal surfaced in 2019, it emerged that Macharia owned Spring Valley Park which houses the property company's offices, although the CS denied having any stake in Suraya.

    Those who lost money to Suraya claimed that the owners of the company were enjoying patronage from powerful individuals in government with business ties to them.

    "Transport, Infrastructure and Housing CS James Macharia failed to explain the loss of Ksh1.5 billion meant for the construction of housing projects in Nairobi by Suraya.

    "In addition, it was established that Spring Valley Business Park where Suraya has its offices is owned by the Cabinet Secretary," Ali wrote.

    Ali also accused Macharia of presiding over stalled development and infrastructure projects worth hundreds of millions across the country.

    "He has failed to complete important infrastructure including bridges, roads, ports and airports despite these projects being said to be important for the country's economic growth.

    "For example, civil servants and police officers continue to live in dilapidated houses while plans on how to improve their conditions gather dust in government offices," he wrote.

    Ali also blasted Macharia for allegedly failing to involve stakeholders or undertake public consultations when he made the decision on hauling cargo to Naivasha from Mombasa.

    He lamented the detrimental effect the move would have on the economy in the Coast region as well as potential job losses in the transport industry.

    Ali accused the Cabinet Secretary of failing to give correct information to a Parliamentary committee looking into the matter.

    "In many meetings with Parliamentary committees, Macharia has lied under oath, stating that the directives have been stopped when they are still fully operational," he noted.

    Transport Cabinet Secretary James Macharia speaking in Parliament
    Transport Cabinet Secretary James Macharia speaking in Parliament
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    corruption fight