Details of why Uhuru Kenyatta bowed down to pressure to drop Garissa Township MP Aden Duale as the leader of majority can finally be revealed. The vocal MP lost his post in a Jubilee Party parliamentary group meeting that barely lasted 22 minutes though a majority of legislators had heaped praises on him, for his outstanding performance in pushing the ruling party’s agenda in the house and outside. He was replaced by Kipipiri MP Amos Kimunya, a one-time Finance minister in the Mwai Kibaki government. Insiders revealed that the president was initially reluctant to let Duale, who was his chief defender in parliament, go even after his kitchen cabinet questioned the Garissa Township MP’s loyalty due to his opposition to the Building Bridges Initiative and attacks on government even on the floor of the house. Before the parliamentary group meeting, the Pastoralists Parliamentary Group had come out to defend Duale against an onslaught led by Kieni MP Kanini Kega.
The legislators who included Garissa senator Yusuf Haji even offered to mediate in seeking an amicable resolution. Others who petitioned the president to spare Duale included Mandera senator Mohamed Mohamud who termed the Garissa MP’s seven-year leadership in the national assembly as outstanding having done a great job in driving the Jubilee agenda. In his defence, Duale had also lashed out at Kega, who was collecting MPs’ signatures to impeach him, accusing him of perfecting the art of extortion to solicit favours from him and his friends in exchange for the withdrawal of the motion. Insiders add that it is these achievements that were stopping the president from dropping him before a detailed dossier was presented to the head of state by security organs linking Duale to a web of corruption and his brother Abdi Yakub Duale.
The dossier detailed how the former secondary teacher who was inducted into politics by Raila Odinga used his position as majority leader to amass wealth estimated to be over Sh5 billion. With his brother Yakub, they use a firm Concordia building and Civil Engineering Company to manipulate state agencies to award them lucrative tenders. Using the proceeds, they have invested heavily in the middle East and own a hotel. The dossier detailed how the most vocal defender of Uhuru’s government who earned the tag sycophant used his position to coerce parastatal bosses and other government agencies to award companies associated with him or owned by his cronies lucrative tenders. Surprisingly, Duale family members boast to have influence at Ethics Anti Corruption Commission and Office of Director Of Public Prosecutions hence untouchables.
In return while majority leader, he would shield parastatal bosses from being probed by parliament or influence reports once they were summoned by the MPs. The report that shocked the president stated that while not directly soliciting for favours, Duale would front his brother, Noor Barre and that explains how they expanded their businesses in Garissa, Nairobi and Mombasa and even expanded to neighbouring countries such as Somali and South Sudan. In Garissa, Duale and his brother own the Nomad Resort, the second upmarket hotel in the town besides other commercial ventures, which include the affiliate Nomad Hotel in Nairobi’s Eastleigh. The report revealed that Duale, who was born on June 15 1967 and is married to the daughter of retired General Mahmoud Mohammed, one of two families who own and control most of Garissa’s wealth, now lives like a king, owning a multimillion house in the posh Runda estate. He is thus an in-law to Dpp boss Noordin Hajj son the senator Hajj.
The report revealed that Duale as leader of majority put up a four-storey building called Lilac Centre in Garissa town which is managed by his brother, Dubow Bare Duale and has also been using Medina Chemicals to supply veterinary products in the North-Eastern region, South Sudan and Somalia. He also purchased a cattle ranch at the Coast of Kenya. The dossier further raised the possibility that Duale could be holding Somali and Kenyan citizenship though in the past he has denied holding dual citizenship. The claims of Duale holding dual citizenship first resurfaced during the vetting of Mwende Mwinzi for appointment as the ambassador to South Korea. The Garissa Township MP then claimed he was being blackmailed by those he termed ‘busybodies’ after he refused to facilitate Mwinzi’s approval. Insiders add that the dossier detailed how Duale owns Concordia Building and Civil Engineering Company Limited which has won multi-billion-shilling tender mystery since he was appointed the Majority Leader.
The ownership of the company, the report added, put him in conflict with procurement laws, which prohibit state officers from doing business with the government. Besides Aden Bare Duale, Concordia Building and Civil Engineering Company Limited another director is Abdi Yakub Duale. Insiders add that attached to the dossier handed to Uhuru were media reports that exposed how Duale and Yakub formed the company under Certificate of Incorporation number 144127, given by SM Ndisya for the Registrar of Companies, in 2013 after he was named the majority leader. The company went in to bag its first big contract worth Sh185 million, to partition an office belonging to the Geothermal Development Corporation. The dossier contains minutes of a meeting dated September 12 2014 and attended by Aden Bare Duale, Abdi Yakub Duale and Marian Mohammed Hassan, along with lawyer Fredrick Orego, in which Duale resigned as director and transferred his shares to Marian Mohamed Hassan.
Among the mega projects the company carried out are the improvement of commuter rail stations in Nairobi, construction of Rural Electrification Authority under CEO Peter Mbugua of its storage facilities, construction of Garissa Town water supply systems, and the failed Mitubiri Landfill project. The four projects were worth Sh1.9 billion. The company was also awarded a Sh190 million contract for a water supply project under the Last Mile project being carried out by Kenya Power in Garissa. Concordia was also among the two firms awarded a Sh2 billion contract to build the Mitubiri Landfill project in Murang’a county, which the government later pulled out of after protests from residents. It also in April 2016, bagged Sh573 million contract to improve the Kahawa and Kikuyu railway stations. Other contracts Concordia bagged included the building of REA storage facilities in Mariakani worth Sh164 million, and maintenance of the Garissa-Mbalambala Road (Sh18 million).
Others were maintenance of Mwingi-Madogo Road (Sh143 million), maintenance of Kaya-Sakuna Road (Sh18 million), maintenance of Mtwapa water drainage systems (Sh277 million), and maintenance of roads in Garrisa Town (Sh6 million). The firm is engaged by the National Irrigation Authority formerly National Irrigation Board in multi-millions constructions of dams. But what annoyed powers be was the fact, Duale associated firms were evading taxes running into billions at Kenya Revenue Authority. Insiders added that the dossier also linked Duale to the importation of -sugar from Brazil that was imported via the Kismayu port and smuggled in through the porous Somalia border. It stated that there were reasons to believe that Duale was the person named in the report titled ‘Sweet secrets: Sugar smuggling and State formation in Kenya-Somalia borderlands’ by Prof Jacob Rasmussen of Denmark’s Roskilde University which blamed official neglect of the sugar sector in western Kenya and marginalization of the country’s northern region for the smuggling.
Those who were cited as sugar smugglers included a former governor and about 70 Somali businessmen operating in Kismayu, Garissa and Nairobi. The dossier stated that it was not a coincidence when Duale attacked the government for allegedly targeting small Somali sugar sellers instead of going for big importers in the illicit sugar war when police impounded contraband sugar in Eastleigh. It states the then Leader of Majority was protecting his interests. The report further reminded the President that when police impounded contraband sugar in Eastleigh Aldai MP Cornelly Serem, a close ally of Duale, named the president’s brother, Muhoho, as one of the importers of illicit sugar in a move that was meant to pour cold water on the war of corruption. The dossier further points out that the Dadaab refugee camp, close to Garissa in northern Kenya, is one of the major hubs for the trade with hundreds of thousands of clients and there is no way operations could go on there without Duale’s knowledge.