Kenyan MP Moses Kuria admits accepting $ 1,000 parliamentary bribe

Moses Kuria told the BBC he intended to return one of the bribes he received

Kenyan MP Moses Kuria told the BBC he received a $ 1,000 (£ 700) bribe in parliament last year to support the nomination of the majority leader.

“It is not unusual for members to get this kind of incentive,” he said, adding that he would refund the payment.

Mr Kuria made the remarks because he and two other colleagues are to be censored for alleging payments were made to support a recent constitutional amendment bill.

Majority leader Amos Kimunya has denied bribes are being paid to parliament.

The BBC has asked Mr Kimunya to respond to Mr Kuria’s specific allegation but has yet to receive a response.

Kenyan MPs are among the highest paid lawmakers in the world – and officials believe the East African nation loses billions of dollars every year to corruption.

What did Mr. Kuria say?

Mr Kuria said he had witnessed corruption on several occasions in parliament.

“And this has happened countless times in my eight years in parliament,” he told the BBC Newsday program.

“Obviously, these things don’t happen on camera.”

He gave the example of the appointment of Mr. Kimunya. He replaced Aden Duale at the head of the majority in the National Assembly last June.

The Gatundu South Constituency MP admitted that the corrupt practices were wrong.

“That’s wrong. And I think so … if the opportunity presented itself, I would at least reimburse the one that I remember most clearly,” he said.

“I will probably do [it] today … repay the $ 1,000 I received to vote for Amos Kimunya as majority leader. “

What is the current line about?

Mr Kuria gave an interview to the BBC when he was summoned to appear before the Speaker of the House for alleging that some politicians were given around $ 1,000 to vote for the constitutional amendment bill known as the name of Building Bridges Initiative (BBI).

President Uhuru Kenyatta (left) and Raila Odinga (right) shaking hands in February 2018

President Uhuru Kenyatta (left) and opposition leader Raila Odinga (right) support the BBI bill

The aim of the bill – backed by President and opposition leader Raila Odinga – is to address the main challenges the country has faced since independence, such as ethnic antagonism, corruption and decentralization.

But critics say it will only increase the waste as it will increase the number of parliamentary seats and bring back the post of prime minister and several MPs.

Mr Kuria is a supporter of Vice President William Ruto, who does not support the BBI bill, and is a staunch rival of Mr Odinga, with the two men maneuvering to succeed Mr Kenyatta as the presiding officer. planned for next year.

Despite some initial opposition, the BBI bill has been passed by county assemblies and recently by parliament.

Mr Kuria told the BBC that other incentives had been used to persuade politicians – such as the demand from members of the county assembly to only support the BBI bill for car subsidies, worth about $ 20,000 each.

The Wages and Remuneration Commission (SRC) approved the grants in February.

However, Kenya’s High Court ruled on Thursday that the bill was unconstitutional, hampering plans for it to go to a referendum later this year.

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