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November 19, 2018

Anti-graft agency unfairly targets governors – MCAs

Murang’a MCAs at Kaharo ACK in Maragua on Sunday/ALICE WAITHERA
Murang’a MCAs at Kaharo ACK in Maragua on Sunday/ALICE WAITHERA

Murang’a MCAs want the anti-graft watchdog to stop targeting governors in the fight against corruption.

The MCAs said on Sunday that the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission should instead target accounting officers in individual departments.

They said the commission unfairly targets specific governors without sufficient evidence. Majority leader Eric Kamande led the 15 ward representatives who addressed the press on Sunday at Kaharo ACK in Maragua.

They said they fully support the government’s war against corruption as it will streamline services.

Kamande said the role of a governor is to chair cabinet sittings with his executives, who implement projects. 

 “The executives and chief officers are the accounting officers and should be held responsible for corruption. They are directly in charge of projects,” he said.

Kamande asked the EACC to summon accounting officers who are better placed to answer queries on projects, not the governors.

Nominated MCA Stephen Chege said the agency should not be used to fight politicians and taint their images. He said the anti-graft war should not be used to shape succession politics, where leaders who seem to be delivering are dragged through corruption cases.

Chege recalled how the EACC detectives once arrested Governor Mwangi Wa Iria in his office as his staff watched. He said even after the highly publicised arrest, the EACC lacked sufficient evidence to charge him and only recorded statements.

CONSTANT FEAR OF ARREST

“They have arrested Wa Iria several times and it was all politically instigated,” the MCA said. The ward representative said even in the national government, the President does not take responsibility for ministers’ mistakes.

“We have seen government officials taken to court for corruption and the same should apply in county governments.” Mugoiri MCA Sospeter Nyoro said governors will not be able to work as they should with the constant threat of being arrested and prosecuted.

“Let us give our governors time to implement the projects they have started without fear of being arrested,” Nyoro said.

He said a governor does not sign tender documents and should not be forced to carry the blame for the wrongs by heads of department.

But Kimorori Wempa MCA Amos Murigi said the EACC is right to go after governors and should be allowed to do its work independently.

Murigi said innocent governors will clear their names after being questioned.

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