Kenya minister quits over graft claims

2011-01-04 11:32
Nairobi - Kenya's Industrialisation Minister Henry Kosgey resigned on Tuesday, a day after the east African nation's anti-corruption body said he should be arrested for abuse of office, his lawyer said.

Kosgey was questioned by the Kenya Anti-Corruption Commission (KACC) in November over the importation of second-hand vehicles.

"It's true my client has stepped aside," Julius Kemboi, Kosgey's lawyer, told Reuters by phone.

Kosgey is the second cabinet minister to step down in recent months in connection with graft charges. His foreign affairs counterpart Moses Wetangula was forced out by parliament over corruption in the purchase of land for Kenyan embassies abroad.

KACC boss Patrick Lumumba, who has promised to go after the "big fish", said on Monday that Kosgey would be arrested within 24 hours.

No minister has been convicted of graft in Kenya, where sleaze has spread from politicians to civil servants, private business and ordinary Kenyans who part with small sums of money for favours in government offices.

President Mwai Kibaki came to power in 2002 on an anti-graft platform, but his record on fighting corruption has failed to impress critics and Kenyan media have been replete with numerous scandals.

Last month, the International Criminal Court named Kosgey as one of six suspected masterminds of the post-election violence that convulsed Kenya after a disputed election.

Read more on:    kenya  |  east africa
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