WAR ON CORRUPTION

Why we're losing the battle to the ‘white walkers’ of graft

In Summary

• On Thursday, CJ Maraga announced the Judicial Service Commission had recommended the removal of three judges.

•  Several governors are said to be under the EACC and DPP Noordin Haji's radar with possible arrests apparently imminent.

President Uhuru Kenyatta when he arrived in Parliament ahead of his State of the Nation address on March 31, 2016 Image:
LOOSING WAR? President Uhuru Kenyatta when he arrived in Parliament ahead of his State of the Nation address on March 31, 2016 Image:
Image: JACK OWUOR

"There will be no turning back on the war against corruption as it is a just war, a war to prevent misuse of public resources for selfish interests by those we have entrusted to manage them."

Those were the powerful words of President Uhuru Kenyatta during his State Of The Nation Address in Parliament on April 4.

The President spoke robustly of a nation that is strong, vibrant and beaming with promise. 

 
 

But towards the end of his speech, Uhuru admitted that corruption and impunity have compromised on the promise of devolution, economic growth targets and his realisation of the Big Four.

"There will be no sacred cows, no compromise.  The fight against corruption is a fight for the soul of our nation," Uhuru said.

However, Kenyans are all too aware and familiar with the 'graft war' rhetoric.

Kenyans demand action and tangible prosecutions of the 'big fish' who have been bestowed upon the responsibility of protecting our nation's resources only for them to end up looting them for their own selfish interests.

Seven current and former Governors and over thirty Chief Executive Officers of State Corporations are under active investigation or prosecution for various corruption related offences. 
President Uhuru Kenyatta

The latest circus Kenyans were treated to involved the county governments' audit reports.

The audit revealed Kiambu county's bizarre budget case, which included running State House and pension payments for retired presidents was not an isolated one.

Reports of eight other counties showed the same disturbing anomalies, raising questions about the credibility of the whole budgeting and auditing process.

 
 

So the question posed was why the Auditor General never raised queries about the shocking budget lines?

 

Kiambu Governor Ferdinand Waititu came out to strongly defend himself after his Senate committee appearance saying he had been 'set up' by his political enemies over the whole fiasco.

Deputy President William Ruto last week during a tour of Kiambu defended Waititu saying the governor should only be asked questions relating to the county.

The likes of governors Moses Lenolkulaal (Samburu), Okoth Obado (Migori) are all currently facing graft charges.

 

 Several other governors are said to be under the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission and DPP Noordin Haji's radar with possible arrests apparently imminent.

DPP Noordin Haji and EACC chairman Eliud Wabukala at the EACC offices on April 18, 2018.
DPP Noordin Haji and EACC chairman Eliud Wabukala at the EACC offices on April 18, 2018.
Image: JOSEPH NDUNDA

However, the lengthy processes of trials and reduced bail terms for those facing graft charges have put off many Kenyans who have all but lost faith in the judicial process.

The Judiciary, charged with interpreting and applying the country's law, has itself been marred by controversies involving its staff whose integrity have been questioned.

On Thursday, Chief Justice David Maraga announced that the Judicial Service Commission had recommended the removal of three judges.

The complaints against three judges disclosed incompetence, bias, impropriety and professional misconduct, hence the decision to advise the President to form a tribunal for their removal.

Supreme Court Justices Njoki Ndung'u and Jackton Ojwang escaped the noose by a whisker after a petition against them was withdrawn.

Last month, a security guard who had accused Supreme Court Judge Mohamed Ibrahim of threatening him with a firearm withdrawn his claim.

Deputy Chief Justice Philomena Mwilu currently cannot sit on the bench of the Apex court as she is fighting a graft case leaving the Judiciary's Deputy President confined only to administrative duties.

Uhuru during his State of The Nation speech also revoked the appointment of Justice Joseph Mutava.

This was after the Supreme Court affirmed a decision by a tribunal that recommended his removal over gross misconduct.

All these paints a gloomy picture for a country whose citizens have lost hope and have 'accepted' corruption as a norm in the society and a leadership which seems to be fighting a losing battle in the graft war.


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