Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Kenyan parliament official linked to funding Al Shabaab threatens legal action

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Kenyan parliament official linked to funding Al Shabaab threatens legal action

Updated Tuesday, August 13th 2013 at 17:31 GMT +3
By Ally Jamah
Nairobi, Kenya: A key official of Parliament sensationally linked by a United Nations report to funding Somalia’s Al Shabaab militants has announced plans to take legal action to defend his reputation and that of Pumwani Riadha mosque, where he sits as a management committee member.

At the same time, the official, Ali Abdulmajid, has written to the Inspector General of Police David Kimaiyo requesting him to open fresh investigations into the matter to confirm whether the claims in the UN Monitoring Group latest report on Somalia and Eritrea are accurate.
He also requested Kimaiyo to make public the results of previous police investigations into similar claims made by the UN group last year. The probe had been ordered by former police commissioner Matthew Iteere.
A pained AbdulMajid told The Standard Tuesday that the UN report has seriously soiled his reputation and that Pumwani Riadha mosque in the eyes of Kenyans and his workmates and has been left with no option but to salvage his credibility.
“It is unfortunate that some people are treating the report as the Gospel truth without recourse to proper investigations by our state agencies. In fact, I want first to advise all Kenyans that the UN report is just another report. I am a law abiding and a loyal Kenyan committed to upholding of the rule of law as well as the Constitution,” he said.
He added: “I am not saying that we should turn a blind eye to criminal elements amongst us; those must be dealt with as they should with the full force of the law. All I am asking is that Kenya, being a sovereign Republic with working constitutional institutions, must never allow other western bodies to freely trample on its citizens' rights and get away with it.”
Announcing his plan to take legal action, Abdulmajid said that the UN report gave him no opportunity to challenge the claims made against him. He described the allegations as “false, malicious and published in bad faith.”
“It is on this basis that I have instructed my lawyer to look into the matter with a view of instituting proceedings against the sections of the media and/or the United Nations,” he said.
‘False allegations’
He wondered how the government can allow UN officials to arbitrarily tarnish the names of Kenyan citizens without any checks, terming the scenario as an affront to Kenya’s sovereignty and independence.
Currently, a legal suit is pending before the High Court against one local bank for closing the account of the mosque a last year after the UN monitoring group came out.

In his letter to Kimaiyo, he said that he is not a security risk to Parliament where he works insisting that he is committed to upholding principles of integrity and loyalty to the country as a public servant.
“I assure you that I have no involvement whatsoever with any criminal group both local and foreign,” he wrote in the letter. I am a law-abiding citizen whose intention is solely to serve – as I have done for the last eleven solid years – his fellow countrymen in this humble opportunity as an officer of Parliament.”

He told Kimaiyo that proper investigations will uncover the truth behind the matter, and end the demonisation of Pumwani Riadha mosque which he described as a law-abiding religious institution.
He said that the UN report had mudslinged the 78 year old mosque and scared away potential donors from funding their projects meant to empower the impoverished community.
He wondered how the poor slum dwellers of Majengo can fund an insurgency in another country when they cannot even pay school fees for their children or bury their dead without doing mini-harambees.


The Star

Kenya: Two Senators Fault UN Al Shabaab Report

Two senators have urged the government to ignore a UN report that links an employee of Parliament to al shabaab.
Speaking to the press yesterday, Senators Billow Kerrow and Hassan Omar Hassan said the UN Monitoring Group on Somalia should be ignored because it has perfected the art of linking Kenyans to al Shabaab without evidence.
The UN report claims that an employee of the Parliamentary Service Commission has been in the forefront of recruitment of jihadist fighters into Somalia. The report claims that the official sits on the committee of Pumwani Mosque that allegedly finances terrorism and recruitment of fighters in Kenya through a separate entity called Al Hijra.
The senators said the report is bogus because it was authored by "four or five" consultancies that sit in offices in Nairobi. They said the UN report fell short of providing evidence on the official alleged role in the funding and recruitment of jihadists. "Throughout the report there is no evidence on the official link to al Shabaab or even the mosque," Kerrow said.
The Mandera senator said the UN Monitoring Group on Somalia has built a career out of maligning Kenyans leaders by linking them to terrorism. Kerrow asked the UN team to submit whichever evidence it has against the official to the police so it is dealt with according to the law. "Terrorism is a serious offence in Kenya and they should pass the information to the police for action," he said.
Hassan Omar accused the group of acting in bad faith by linking the official to terrorism without due diligence. "You cannot make recommendations with such finality. This is a campaign to hurt Islamic work in Kenya," Omar said.


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