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Saturday, July 31, 2021

Waqo snubs Parliamentary committee probing COVID-19 billionaires

By The Frontier Post Reporter

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Former chief executive officer of the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) Halakhe Waqo who is being probed over the COVID0-19 billionaires has failed to appear before a parliamentary committee.

Waqo was supposed to be questioned over his company’s involvement in a tender to supply Kenya Medical Supplies Authority (KEMSA).

National Assembly Public Investments Committee (PIC) is investigating the Sh7.8 billion KEMSA scandal.

Mr Waqo was expected to appear before the Mvita legislator Abdulswamad Nassir led committee at 4pm yesterday but did not show up.

Instead, the ex-anti-graft commission secretary called the committee clerk saying he would not make it.

Nassir warned that his colleagues would no longer entertain phone calls from Waqo and that if he defies them a third time, the committee will be forced to issue summons compelling him to appear.

“He was supposed to be our next witness but he has called the clerk to say that he is not coming. I have told the clerk not to accept any more phone calls from him and he should write to the committee,” Mr Nassir said.

“This is the second time he has failed to appear before this committee. If he fails to appear next time, this committee will be forced to issue summons that he actually be brought here.”

The House Standing Orders states that, if a witness fails to appear before a parliamentary committee investigating a certain matter for three consecutive times, then the committee can write to the police to arrest the witness and avail him before the committee for questioning.

 Mr Waqo was expected to appear in order to shed light over the Covid-19 billionaires’ scandal after his name was mentioned by a witness last month.

The name of Mr Waqo was mentioned by one of the directors of Aszure Commercial Services, Ms Zubeda Nyamlondo, who told the committee two weeks ago that the former anti-corruption CEO helped it get a loan of Sh347 million at First Community Bank in a bid to be able to supply masks to Kemsa.

Nyamlondo told lawmakers that Waqo was a friend that helped the company secure a loan when it could not raise Sh347 million to supply KN95 masks.

Kemsa had awarded the company a tender to supply 50,000 boxes of KN95 each at Sh690.

The committee also wants to establish from Waqo whether he is the faceless owner of Aszure Commercial Services and only fronted Nyamlondo to hoodwink the public.

The lawmakers also want to establish why the company, which had an account at Kenya Commercial Bank, decided to go to First Community Bank for a loan.

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