Review law to keep corrupt state workers out of office, says ICPAK

National Treasury Chief Administrative Secretary Nelson Gaichuhie and Institute of Certified Public Accountants chairperson Julius Mwatu during the 34th ICPAK annual conference at Whitesands Hotel Mombasa on May 22, 2018. Photo/CHARLES MGHENYI
National Treasury Chief Administrative Secretary Nelson Gaichuhie and Institute of Certified Public Accountants chairperson Julius Mwatu during the 34th ICPAK annual conference at Whitesands Hotel Mombasa on May 22, 2018. Photo/CHARLES MGHENYI

Accountants of Kenya want public servants found guilty of corruption completely blacklisted from holding any public position.

This even as Kenyans continue to wait for arrests and convictions of Cabinet Secretaries, Chief executives, Principal Secretaries, governors among other high-profile sentencing of those found guilty.

In its submission on the Budget Policy Statement 2019, The Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Kenya raised concerns on increased finance theft in public offices.

Kenya is ranked among the most corrupt countries in the world at position 144 out of 180 according to the Corruption Perception Index 2018 by Transparency International.

“Amend the law and provisions on public finance management, anti-money laundering, leadership, and integrity to strengthen asset recovery mechanism,” ICPAK chair Julius Mwatu said.

The institute also wants the law strengthened to compel those found guilty to return stolen assets or face hefty penalties.

According to the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission, Kenya is losing an estimated Sh608 billion to corruption yearly, which is 7.8 per cent of Kenya’s GDP as of July 2018.

Top of the areas of concerns in regard to corruption include public procurement, public service, land administration, customs administration, and funds misappropriation

Current financial year budget is Sh3.074 trillion with the biggest chunk of it ( Sh1.6 trillion) going towards funding the functions of the National government.

Despite existing pieces of legislation on the matter and increased calls by President Uhuru Kenyatta on the fight against corruption, ICPAK says little has been achieved.

“Kenya has an elaborate legal architecture. Nevertheless, we continue to witness myriad cases of funds misappropriation and increased scandal in both public and private entities,” Mwatu said.

The accountants also questioned the National Treasury, and Commission on Revenue Allocation for using outdated audited financial statements opening a loophole to swindle public funds.

In their presentation, they noted that the use of up to date audited results will enable open revenue share and enhance accountability of funds in a timely manner.

Analysis by the institute shows that the Division of Revenue Act has been using the 2013/14 audited account as the basis for equitable share.

According to the National Ethics and Corruption report released last year by EACC, Muranga, Trans Nzoia, Mandera, Kirinyaga and Marsabit are the top five most corrupt counties in Kenya.

The report shows the biggest bribe is demanded from people seeking tenders, employment, construction certificates, clearance of goods from ports and other entry points willing to part with between Sh20,000- Sh65,000.