Tourism Cabinet Secretary Najib Balala has stated that his ministry’s woes are being instigated by his political rivals.
Speaking before the parliamentary Committee on Sports, Culture and Tourism, Balala stated: “We can fight corruption but the challenge sets in when we politicize the war. I am being blackmailed for political reasons.”
Balala, who was being questioned by the legislatures over the awarding of a Ksh100 million contract, asserted that politics is behind his woes.
He further revealed to the MPs that as soon as he had recorded a statement with the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC), an unidentified officer of the agency approached him and inquired about his 2022 political interest and desire to become Mombasa’s county boss.
Balala expressed disappointment as he noted that that act was an attack on his fundamental rights.
Speaking to the Machakos Town MP Victor Munyaka – led committee, Balala affirmed that he read malice and politics in the reports carried by some media stations, for reporting that the EACC had raided his houses.
The visibly annoyed CS revealed: “There is nothing wrong for me to write a statement with the authorities.
“Is it possible that my home and office can be raided and it is only known by one person?” he posed.
On the contract in question, Balala tried to absolve himself of the blame as he pointed out that he joined the ministry in November 2015 after the Tourism Recovery Strategy had been implemented.
The ministry also reiterated his sentiments in a statement signed by the director of public communications Mr Mulei Muia, who divulged: “Upon his appointment, Mr Balala lent his support to the Tourism Recovery Strategy which was being rolled out and he supported the implementation of the same.”
Additionally, he told the committee that the accumulated matter of Asta was based on misinformation, which he said had created the confusion leading to the involvement of the EACC.
“I never single-sourced anything. There was no tender to award anything because everything was about the bid to host the expo,” Mr Balala stated.
Balala had been summoned over payments totaling Ksh100 million made during the American Society of Travel Agents (Asta) Destination Expo in Nairobi in 2017.