A committee of the National Assembly has recommended the rejection of the nomination of anti-alcohol campaigner John Mututho as chairman of the anti-drug abuse campaign body.
The National Security and Administration Committee said although Mr Mututho is suited for the job as chairman of the National Authority for the Campaign Against Drug Abuse, he should first clear pending court cases.
The House is scheduled to discuss the report on Wednesday afternoon. If the report is adopted, Mr Mututho’s nomination will be rejected. It can only be approved if an amendment for that is made to the report.
The decision to ask MPs not to approve Mr Mututho’s nomination was made at a meeting Tuesday morning after the committee examined a report from the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission.
In a letter to the committee, the EACC said there are pending criminal and civil suits filed against Mr Mututho and Countryside Supplies Ltd, a company associated with him.
The criminal case is a charge of obtaining Sh41.3 million by falsely presenting documents that his company had paid tax on bedside lockers to the Kenyatta National Hospital and therefore deserved a refund.
EACC’s predecessor had also filed a civil suit on behalf of Kenyatta National Hospital for the recovery of the Sh41.3 million from Mututho and Countryside Supplies Ltd. Both are pending in court.
“Whereas the matters are pending before the court, the allegations touch on the personal integrity of the candidate and are likely to erode public confidence in the integrity of his office,’ EACC Secretary Halakhe Waqo said in the letter.
In the meeting Tuesday morning, a majority of the MPs present agreed with the recommendation that Mr Mututho’s nomination should be rejected.
Minutes from their meeting say, “Having considered the EACC letter over the nomination of Mr John Mututho, the committee was of the view the nominee does not meet the threshold of Chapter Six of the Constitution.”
Four MPs recorded their dissenting views and were in support of Mr Mututho; Zakayo Cheruiyot (Kuresoi South, URP), Mohammed Shidiye (Lagdera, TNA), Ahmed Abdikadir Ore (Wajir West, ODM) and George Theuri (Embakasi West, TNA).
When he met the committee for the vetting on Monday, Mr Mututho said the matter with KNH was a civil case which had been through an arbitration process and the hospital hadn’t filed a counterclaim over the Sh41.3 million he is said to have defrauded the institution.
He had admitted that he had been charged with a criminal offence for allegedly presenting a forged Kenya Revenue Authority receipt to KNH for payment of duty and Value Added Tax.
Mr Mututho said he hoped the matter would be concluded by Wednesday, November 20, the last day Parliament has to either approve or refuse his nomination.
He also said he was entangled in a case where he bought at auction by the Cooperative Bank of Kenya a house belonging to the Cotton Board of Kenya. He had paid Sh8.7 million but the matter had become complicated after Cotton Board contested the auction by the bank and reoccupied the house.
The former Naivasha MP had alleged that the criminal and civil cases he was facing were political.