War on Corruption
Kenya recognizes that corruption in any form is harmful to the nation. It hinders the country’s ability to become a middle income nation and it reduces competitiveness and the ability to deliver government services. Since the passage of the new Constitution, President Kibaki, Parliament, the Kenya Anti-Corruption Advisory Board and the Kenyan Anti-Corruption Commission under the leadership of Professor Patrick Lumumba have redoubled their efforts to make Kenya a stronger and more transparent nation.
Kenya-Anti Corruption Commission (KACC)
Kenya has been fighting the perception of corruption since 1956 with the Prevention of Corruption Act. The first Kenya Anti-Corruption Authority (KACA) was set up in 1997. However, in 2000, the KACA was disbanded as government officials felt it overlapped with the duties of the Attorney General and the Commissioner of Police. In 2003, the Kenya Anti-Corruption Authority was reestablished as the Kenya Anti-Corruption Commission (KACC) under the Anti-Corruption and Economic Crimes Act.
In August 2010, Professor Patrick Lumumba was appointed as director of the KACC.
In September 2009, President Kibaki replaced Police Commissioner Hussein Ali with the current Police Commissioner Mathew Iteere, the former commandant of the police’s paramilitary General Service Unit (GSU). The commissioner wasted no time in instituting reforms to end police corruption. He appointed a team of senior officers, led by senior deputy commissioner of police in charge of reforms, Mr. Jonathan Koskei, to start implementing police reforms right away. To date, Iteere has redeployed over 600 officers to fight corruption throughout the Kenya police force.
THE NEW CONSTITUTION FIGHTS CORRUPTION
A number of provisions in the constitution decentralize the government and allow for stronger checks and balances to curb corruption including:
• Separation of Powers – the new Constitution deepens the separation of executive and legislative branches by making Parliament more accountable, increasing scrutiny over state finances, prohibiting MPs from serving as cabinet ministers, and allowing Parliament to exercise truly independent oversight of the executive branch;
• Constrains the Power of the Executive Branch – the new Constitution establishes a system of checks and balances that can overrule the decision of the President;
• Sets standards – the new Constitution sets ethical and accountability criteria for all state and public service offices and officials and also establishes national values for national leadership.
In addition, the new Constitution requires Parliament to enact legislation to establish an independent ethics and anti-corruption commission, which shall be responsible for ensuring compliance with and enforcement of the Integrity in Leadership chapter of the Constitution. The chapter enumerates the conduct required of State Officers, including:
• Objectivity and impartiality in decision making, and in ensuring that decisions are not influenced by nepotism, favoritism, other improper motives or corrupt practices;
• Selfless service based solely on the public interest, demonstrated by honesty in the execution of public duties; and the declaration of any personal interest that may conflict with public duties;
• State officers found in contravention may be dismissed, and once dismissed are disqualified from holding any other State office.
RENEWED FOCUS ON CORRUPTION
Kenya Anti-Corruption Commission (KACC) Director Patrick Lumumba has taken significant measures to combat graft in Kenya’s government since the successful ratification of the referendum in August. Below are examples of some actions being taken since Promulgation Day:
• The Kenya Anti-Corruption Commission revives investigations into grand corruption scandals.
Kenyan anti-graft body revives investigations
• The Kenya government announces that 65 members of Parliament and several cabinet ministers will be investigated for failing to declare their wealth.
MPs face prosecution for failure to declare wealth
• Optimism is high among Kenyans that the new Constitution will be effective in the fight against corruption, according to a new opinion poll.
New laws ‘key in war on corruption’
• President Kibaki suspends education minister, William Ruto, over nine-year-old corruption case.
Kenya’s anticorruption advocates laud suspension of key ministe
• Foreign Affairs minister Moses Wetang’ula was forced to skip Mashujaa day celebrations to face anti-corruption officials over the alleged irregular purchase of Kenya’s mission land in Tokyo, Japan.
Wetang’ula quizzed over embassy land deal
• Embattled Nairobi mayor Geophrey Majiwa stepped aside amid allegations of impropriety involving a cemetery scandal.
Nairobi mayor leaves office over cemetery scandal
• United States ambassador to Kenya Michael Ranneberger praised the efforts of the Kenya Government to fight corruption.
US lauds Kenya graft war
• The Kenyan Government will severely deal with government officials who collude with contractors to overprice infrastructure projects, President Mwai Kibaki declared.
Kenya will deal firmly with corrupt officials, says Kibaki