[QODLink]
Africa
Kenya minister resigns over graft
Henry Kosgey, named by international criminal court as a suspect in post-election violence, resigns over graft charges.
Last Modified: 04 Jan 2011 10:58 GMT
Henry Kosgey said he "offered to resign and surrender" to Kenyan corruption investigators [Reuters]

A Kenyan government minister has announced his resignation a day after being called in for questioning over alleged abuse of power.

He is also among six people accused by the International Criminal Court as suspects in the deadly post-election violence three years ago.

Henry Kosgey, the industrialisation minister, was questioned by the Kenya Anti-Corruption Commission (KACC) in November over the import of second-hand vehicles.

He said on Tuesday that he had offered to resign and surrender to the KACC investigators.

"I have today written to President Mwai Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga offering to step aside as minister for industrialisation to allow for these charges to be fully investigated.

"I wish to state that my actions in this matter are above reproach, because I have committed no wrongdoing," said Kosgey, who is also the chairman of Odinga's Orange Democratic Movement.

The allegations are a relatively minor crime compared to the raft of corruption charges he was linked to in a US diplomatic cable recently published by WikiLeaks.

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

ICC suspects

Kosgey, 63, was one of six suspects named by the International Criminal Court (ICC) in relation to the 2007-2008 post-election violence that convulsed Kenya after a disputed presidential election.

in depth

  Witness: The problem of peace
  No country for women
  Horror and hope in a Nairobi slum
  Videos:
  Kenyans react to ICC probe
  Justice eludes Kenya witnesses
  Annan seeks Kenyan reform

The ICC prosecutor last month described Kosgey as a "principal planner and organiser" of violence against supporters of Kibaki's Party of National Unity during the unrest three years ago.

Kosgey had reacted to his name appearing on the ICC list by expressing surprise but vowing to cooperate with the court in The Hague.

His departure from office is the latest in a string of high-profile resignations in recent months over corruption charges, including William Ruto, who was higher education minister and an ICC suspect.

The other was Moses Wetangula, the foreign affairs minister who was forced out by parliament over corruption in the purchase of land for Kenyan embassies abroad.

No minister has been convicted of graft in Kenya.

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

Source:
Agencies
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
Your chance to be an investigative journalist in Al Jazeera’s new interactive game.
An innovative rehabilitation programme offers Danish fighters in Syria an escape route and help without prosecution.
Street tension between radical Muslims and Holland's hard right rises, as Islamic State anxiety grows.
Take an immersive look at the challenges facing the war-torn country as US troops begin their withdrawal.
Featured
Private citizens take initiative to help 'irregular' migrants, accusing governments of excessive focus on security.
Indonesia's cassava plantations are being killed by mealybugs, and thousands of wasps have been released to stop them.
Violence in Ain al-Arab has prompted many Kurdish Syrians to flee to Turkey, but others are returning to battle ISIL.
Unelected representatives quietly iron out logistics of massive TPP and TTIP deals among US, Europe, and Asia-Pacific.
Led by students concerned for their future with 'nothing to lose', it remains to be seen who will blink first.