WANTS CHANGE OF TACK

Graft convicts should be sentenced to death Ottichilo

Vihiga Governor says weak punitive measures allow corruption to thrive because suspects are able to shield themselves from punishment

In Summary

• Ottichilo says Kenya needs to go the China way where those found guilty of economic crimes are sentenced to death.

• The governor says it is time the government changed tack to win the fight against corruption.

Vihiga Governor Wilber Ottichilo at a hotel in Mbale last year
CHANGE TACK: Vihiga Governor Wilber Ottichilo at a hotel in Mbale last year
Image: FILE

Kenya should amend its laws so those convicted of corruption are sentenced to death, Vihiga Governor Wilber Ottichilo has said.

Ottichilo on Wednesday said Kenya should go the China way where those found guilty of economic crimes are sentenced to death.

“Corruption has slowed down development because all suspects, including those found guilty, have the freedom to roam around and use the stolen wealth to shield themselves,” Ottichilo said.

He was addressing delegates attending the county dialogue forum at Mbale town.

The governor said it was time the government changed tack to win the fight against corruption.

Ottichilo asked the DCI, EACC and the Judiciary to adopt new ways of dealing with graft suspects. He asked Parliament to amend the law and provide for deterrent fines and sentences for those convicted of economic crimes.

He said those suspected of involvement in corruption must be forced to step aside pending investigations. The suspects continued stay in office interferes with investigations, he said.

The governor decried the huge appetite for foreign loans by the national government, saying the borrowing could sink the country economically.

"A big portion of the borrowed money is stolen through corrupt dealings and repayment of the loans may be a bigger challenge," he said.

Ottichilo also suggested the presidential elections be separated from other elections for credibility. He said results of the presidential elections should be declared in constituencies to avoid manipulation.

The governor called on the national government to allow for the formation of county policing authorities to deal with rising insecurity. Such an arrangement would put security under the governors and county commanders as in the current setup.

“We have been pushing for these authorities even at the Council of Governors but the Interior CS keeps telling us to wait. It’s a challenge because people know that their boss is the governor and rush to him for security matters yet we have no powers to help them,” Ottichilo said.

The County Governments Act provides for the formation of the county policing authorities with governors as chairmen.

County assembly deputy speaker Nickson Butiya denied claims MCAs were misusing the Sh20 million allocated for ward development projects.

Edited by Peter Obuya