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Hiring of anti-graft czar tipped to step up war on corruption in 2019




Twalib Mbarak when he appeared before National Assembly Justice and Legal Affairs Committee on December 14, 2018 for vetting. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

Mr Twalib Mbarak’s appointment as the new anti-graft czar marks a three-pronged attack on widespread corruption with President Uhuru Kenyatta preferring new faces to lead the fight.

The war gained momentum when Mr Kenyatta tapped the services of spymaster Noordin Haji as the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) as well as crime buster George Kinoti.

The two became the face of the clampdown on graft that has seen dozens of government officials and businesspeople appear in court since May on charges relating to alleged theft of hundreds of millions of shillings from public coffers.

Mr Mbarak’s appointment is expected to bring back EACC to front seat in the fight against corruption, analysts say.

The war looks set to intensify in 2019 with the appointment of Mr Mbarak.

Parliament approved Mr Mbarak’s nomination at a special session mid this month. He is a former military intelligence officer, who later joined the National Intelligence Service.

Mr Noordin and Mr Kinoti were picked to lead the war with parliament’s approval in March, 2018.

Mr Kenyatta and Parliament also injected a fresh impetus into the fight against sleaze after nominating and approving appellate judge Paul Kihara to lead the State Law office as the Attorney- General.

The appointments have seen renewed energy in the fight with several top government officials arrested and charged in court.

Mr Joe Sang, the managing director of Kenya Pipeline Company, and five of his colleagues were this month charged with abuse of office in connection with the loss of Sh1.96 billion.

Mr Geoffrey Mwangi, the CEO of the National Health Insurance Fund, his predecessor and 16 other officials were also charged with abuse of office involving an irregular award and extension of a contract in which Sh1.1 billion was reportedly lost.