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EXPERT COMMENT

Spare no effort in corruption fight

Transparency International -Kenya executive director says Waluke sentence precedent-setting

In Summary

•Furnish anti-graft agencies and courts with sufficient funds to bolster their efforts

Transparency International Executive Director Sheila Masinde. /COURTESY
Transparency International Executive Director Sheila Masinde. /COURTESY
Transparency International Executive Director Sheila Masinde. /COURTESY
Transparency International Executive Director Sheila Masinde. /COURTESY

The efforts by the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission and the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions as well as the other agencies involved in anti-corruption efforts should be commended and encouraged.

In this regard, every effort should not be spared in fighting corruption.

The urgency with which some of the cases are being pursued should, however, be replicated for all corruption cases, including those that have cropped up recently. It should be extended to cases related to the handling of funds set aside to mitigate the Covid-19 pandemic.

 
 

These institutions should be adequately furnished with financial and technical support to upscale their investigation, prosecution, and asset recovery efforts. The judiciary should, similarly, be accorded requisite resources to effectively execute its mandate and expand its use of technology in case hearing and determination processes, considering the current limitations occasioned by the Covid-19 pandemic and current corruption case load in the country’s courts.

We have seen progressive judgments on asset recovery during this period and we hope that the judiciary will not relent in applying similar standards on cases touching on unexplained wealth. The constant updates and clarifications on ongoing investigations and cases by the EACC are welcome as they help demystify its role and those of other relevant agencies. This, in turn, will boost public confidence in the fight against corruption.

The magistrate's court set a good precedent in the judgement delivered on the Sirisia MP John Waluke, Grace Wakhungu, and Erad Supplies & General Contractors case.

We hope that the precedent will continue to be reflected in pending corruption cases. We need to see more punitive sentences and fines to deter acts of corruption as set in the judgement, and record shorter timelines in the investigation, prosecution and adjudication of corruption cases.

This, added with the ongoing efforts by Parliament to improve anti-corruption laws, will indeed go a long way in deterring acts of corruption, but also nip the vice in the bud.

The Transparency International - Kenya Executive Director spoke to the Star