Embakasi East member of Parliament Babu Owino has in an open letter accused interior CS Fred Matiang’i of attacking betting companies for his own selfish reasons .
Owino said that most of the betting companies which were targeted were owned by law abiding citizens who paid taxes.
“The Cabinet Secretary for Interior, Fred Matiangi, earlier this year, launched a public campaign against the betting industry. In his well-choreographed script designed to turn public sentiment against law abiding, tax paying businesses, he went as far as describing the betting industry as evil.
“Kenyans were led to believe that this was a moral campaign by Matiangi but recent events clearly show that this was a personal war targeting certain businesses for his own selfish personal gain,” the letter read in part.
He accused the CS of applying the law selectively leaving companies where he had interest in to operate while suspending the mainstream betting companies that employ many Kenyans.
Babu Owino has therefore called on the Ethics and Anti corruption commission and the DCI to investigate what he claimed was abuse office by CS Matiang’i.
“I call upon the EACC and the DCI to investigate this clear and blatant abuse of office by CS Matiangi. He escaped responsibility in the Ruaraka land saga and now thinks that he can do as he pleases. CS Matiangi must know that even principal cabinet secretaries are accountable to the law!”
Here is the post by Babu Owino:
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MATIANGI WAGING A PERSONAL WAR FOR PERSONAL GAIN The Cabinet Secretary For Interior Mr. Fred Matiangi earlier this year launched a public campaign against the betting industry. In his well choreographed script designed to turn public sentiment against law abiding, tax paying businesses, he went far as describing the betting industry as evil. Kenyans were led to believe that this was a moral campaign by Mr. Matiangi but recent events clearly show that this was a personal war targeting certain businesses for his own selfish personal gain. On previous occasions, I have counseled government officials to seek proper constitutional advice from the office of the Attorney General to avoid publicly embarrassing themselves such as is the case here. The CS is relying on the Betting Licensing and Control Act dating back to 1966 before county governments came into existence. This outdated Act has since been overtaken by the Constitution of Kenya 2010. The new Constitution has since granted these powers to county governments and as such the CS is clearly overstepping his mandate in purporting to suspend licenses. Furthermore, this purported suspension only affects the mainstream betting companies which employ thousands of Kenyans while those in which he has an interest remain operational. It is his hope that through such unfair competition practices, he will drive Sportpesa and Betin out of business leaving the industry to recent entrants BetLion where he is represented by his associate Lee Nyachae. I call upon the EACC and the DCI to investigate this clear and blatant abuse of office by CS Matiangi. He escaped responsibility in the Ruaraka Land saga and now thinks that he can do as he pleases. Mr Kinoti and Mr Hajji must know that Kenyans are watching them. Kenyans will judge them not by how they handle the small fish but by how they confront the big fish. CS Matiangi must know that even Principal Cabinet Secretaries are accountable to the law! Comrade Babu Owino, MP, Embakasi East and Champion of the Oppressed.
Earlier this year Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i had vowed to revoke all licenses for betting firms until they passed a vetting exercise that included them providing a tax compliance certificate.
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