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September 26, 2018

Lifestyle audits good first step in tackling graft

President Uhuru Kenyatta and DP William Ruto at launch of public information portal at KICC. /FILE
President Uhuru Kenyatta and DP William Ruto at launch of public information portal at KICC. /FILE

The decision by President Uhuru Kenyatta to order a lifestyle audit of all senior public servants, starting with himself and DP William Ruto, is a good step towards fighting runaway corruption. The President is leading by example.

Previous attempts to introduce lifestyle audits by the EACC and the Judiciary were fought viciously by people from within.

Now, however, there is political will and the President has sworn to eradicate corruption.

The country has been victimised by corrupt officials for a long time. Once corruption is tackled effectively, everything and everyone will be required to be transparent. People in high positions must be held accountable.

Lifestyle audits are long overdue because officials have been living beyond their legitimate means, without having to explain extra incomes.

The audit by outside professionals will set the stage for those who cannot account for their wealth to be prosecuted, especially if the audit is seen to be professionally done and its results implemented impartially and across the board.

A lifestyle audit would go a long way in exposing the depth of corruption.

Subjecting officials to routine audits, beyond just  vetting, would send the message that fighting corruption is not an event but a process. Officials will constantly be on notice.

However, it is important that the process and those given the responsibility of implementing it be impartial to avoid accusations of selective justice.

 

 

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