[QODLink]
Africa
Minister quits over Kenya hotel sum
Ally of country's president announces resignation amid corruption allegations.
Last Modified: 08 Jul 2008 15:51 GMT
Kimunya denies that he undervalued a luxury hotel that was sold to a Libyan firm [AFP]

Kenya's finance minister has announced his resignation from the country's coalition government amid allegations of corruption in the sale of a luxury hotel in the capital, Nairobi.

Amos Kimunya said he was standing down to allow an inquiry into his involvement in last month's sale of the Grand Regency hotel to go ahead.

"I have requested his excellency the president to be allowed to step aside to facilitate this inquiry," he said on Tuesday.

"I have had several conversations with the president on the issue of the disposal of the Grand Regency hotel. As I have indicated before, my conscience is very clear on the role of the treasury and specifically myself in this matter," he said.

Kimunya's resignation, if it is accepted by Mwai Kibaki, Kenya's president, would weaken the coalition cabinet.

The executive was formed earlier this year after deadly clashes broke out in the wake of a disputed general election in December.

Hotel 'undervalued'

Kimunya has been accused by his critics of having deliberately undervalued the hotel in a sale conducted by the government last month.

One cabinet minister mocked the sale price as not enough to cover the cost of the furniture inside.

A Kenyan subsidiary of a Libyan firm bought the hotel.

Kimunya's resignation comes after a vote of no confidence in the Kenyan parliament.

Kenya's coalition cabinet could be affected by Kimunya's exit [AFP]
Leaked government documents suggest the hotel was sold for $28m, but Kimunya says a price of $45m was agreed.

Libyan officials say the sale was conducted with the knowledge of the Kenyan government but some cabinet ministers have dismissed that claim.

Kimunya is an ally of Kibaki, who remained president after the general election despite claims by Raila Odinga, his opponent, that he had rigged the vote.

The dispute over the presidency sparked ethnic violence that left at least 1,500 people dead and displaced hundreds of thousands.

Kibaki remained in his post in a power-sharing deal, while Odinga was made prime minister.

Observers say that the exit of a minister loyal to Kibaki could lead to a cabinet reshuffle.

Source:
Agencies
Topics in this article
People
Country
Featured on Al Jazeera
Italy struggles to deal with growing flood of migrants willing to risk their lives to reach the nearest European shores.
Israel's Operation Protective Edge is the third major offensive on the Gaza Strip in six years.
Muslims and Arabs in the US say they face discrimination in many areas of life, 13 years after the 9/11 attacks.
At one UN site alone, approximately four children below the age of five are dying each day.
Featured
The conservative UMP party suffers from crippling internal divisions and extreme debt from mismanagement.
More than fifty years of an armed struggle for independence from Spain might be coming to an end in the Basque Country.
After the shooting-down of flight MH17, relatives ask what the carrier has learned from still-missing MH370.
Human rights and corporate responsibility prompt a US church to divest from companies doing business with Israel.
Afghan militias have accumulated a lengthy record of human-rights abuses, including murders and rapes.
join our mailing list