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POLITICALLY MOTIVATED?

I'm the target of ill-founded war on graft, says DP Ruto

DP questioned why some people have a problem with the truth, facts, evidence and the rule law

In Summary

• 'There has been an attempt to hijack the war on corruption and turn it into a war against specific individuals'

• Ruto blamed professionals for the rise in graft and told them to lead by example through ethical practices

Deputy President William Ruto addressing the inter-professional conference in Mombasa on March 20, 2019.
Deputy President William Ruto addressing the inter-professional conference in Mombasa on March 20, 2019.
Image: DPPS

Deputy President William Ruto yesterday said he is being targetted in the war on corruption that he said has degenerated into impunity.

He said at a conference in Mombasa that there is an attempt to paint him in a bad light for political reasons. He made the remark as he opened the First Inter-Professionals Summit.

“There has been an attempt to hijack the war on corruption and turn it into a war against specific individuals. In the attempt to wage this convoluted version of the war on corruption, many government programmes and projects, as well as many innocent public servants, have become casualties,” Ruto said.

The DP questioned why some people have a problem with the truth, facts, evidence and the rule law. He said the war must uphold integrity war and said he was surprised that some individuals have a problem with his assertion that the war must be fact-led and evidence-based. 

“A war on corruption that lacks integrity ceases to be a war on corruption and becomes corruption itself. A war that lacks integrity is impunity. An integrity war waged selectively, using convenient half-truths, with political outcomes in mind, is impunity,” he said.

Ruto blamed professionals for the rise in graft and told them to lead by example through ethical practices. It is time professionals promoted ethics and integrity in public service as they drive their agenda and policies, he said.

“Our most vexing problems as a nation have a strong professional component. And they relate to our professionals failing to rise to their highest standards and full potential. 

"Corruption involving misappropriation and embezzlement of public funds entails an understanding among and between accountants, auditors, economists and such professionals to see to it that budgets are diverted and misused."

He said Kenyans must move from broad generalities and begin to examine the contributions of specific professionals to corruption.

"Accountants who manipulate numbers, occasioning loss of value in the public and private sectors; surveyors and planners who facilitate expropriation of public land in shoddy and corrupt schemes; human resource managers who skew interviews and promotions and sacrifice merit at the shrine of tribalism, and qualification on the altar of nepotism are to blame for corruption.”

He said wayward lawyers promote judicial corruption, adding that a bad decision procured for a valuable reward requires lawyers willing to negotiate terms and coordinate modalities by which the justice is perverted.

"Judges who auction justice to the highest bidder, consigning innocent people to untold suffering and media practitioners who file fake stories influenced by brown envelopes are part of the mess in this country.”

The DP said bad roads are a direct consequence of corrupt dealings involving engineers who compromise designs, allow poor supervision, permit shortcuts, or approve substandard work.

Also condemned were “lecturers who award grades on the basis of inappropriate relations”. 

The DP said the country’s human resource capital is highly regarded worldwide and should be the biggest driver of public service, national development, and national discourse.

Present were members of the Law Society of Kenya, the Institute of Certified Secretaries, the Institute of Human Resource Management, the Kenya Institute of Supplies Management and the Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Kenya, among others.

LSK vice chairperson Harriet Chiggai urged professional agencies to put in place policies that help the war on graft. “As professionals, we should take the lead in helping the government address challenges such as runaway corruption among other problems facing us as a nation."

ICPAK chief executive officer Patrick Ngumi and his LSK counterpart Mercy Wambua called for closer working relations between the government and the professional bodies.

They called for ways to eliminate quacks, saying they tarnish the image of professionals.