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Taxpayers association blames MPs, MCAs for failing Kenyans in anti-graft war



MPs and MCAs have been put on the spotlight for failing in their oversight role to help fight corruption in the country.

Parliament and county assemblies were implicated with “rubber-stamping” graft as Kenya joined the world on Sunday in marking the International Anti-Corruption Day.

National Taxpayers Association said the country is not yet on the right track in the fight against corruption because the two oversight institutions have failed to curb misuse of billions of public funds by the state and counties.

“These two institutions tasked with oversight and monitoring spending of taxpayers’ money are not doing their work. The auditor general’s reports have also linked MPs and MCAs with misuse of public funds,” the Association’s national coordinator Irine Otieno, said.

Otieno spoke in Nairobi while commemorating the anti-corruption day under African Union’s theme, ‘Winning the Fight Against Corruption, a Sustainable path to Africa’s Transformation.’

Also present during the event were Transparency International-Kenya executive director Samuel Kimeu, EACC director Ethics and Leadership Lucy Kinuthia, ODPP deputy director Emily Kamau and Auditor General’s representative Benji Ndolo.

“We have enough laws to fight graft but we need to strengthen these oversight institutions not to be used to rubber-stamp corruption in budget making and investigations,” Otieno said.

Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission chaired by Eliud Wabukala, in marking the international day, revealed that it has saved taxpayers Sh20 billion that could have been lost through graft in the last five years.

EACC, for instance, disclosed that Sh207 million was averted from corrupt activities between July and December this year.

“Citizens should be extra-vigilant on how their taxes are being used for the government to get fearful in spending their money the way it does to the donor funding,” Otieno said.

Transparency International-Kenya boss noted that the country still has a “big challenge” in the war on graft grounds its global ranking remains wanting.

“The last corruption index ranking was 143 out of 180 countries_ which is not a good score. It has not improved much because we haven’t had a sustained action against corruption,” Kimeu said.

He noted that Kenya’s ranking would improve if President Uhuru Kenyatta, the Director of Public Prosecutions Noordin Haji, Directorate of Criminal Investigations boss George Kinoti and Wabula led EACC don’t relent in ongoing graft crackdown.

Kimeu also roped in Judiciary headed by Chief Justice David Maraga, Parliament under Speakers Justin Muturi (National Assembly) and Kenneth Lusaka (Senate).

“There is a renewed vibrancy in prosecutions. Many people have been charged in court and more are being charged. This is an important aspect in the fight against corruption although convictions are more important,” Kimeu said.

He further noted that recovering money and assets lost in corruption will help restore public trust in anti-graft institutions and prompt citizens to join in the war fully.

Kimeu graft should be fought in “whichever way we can” in backing Noordin for hiring the UK lawyer Khawar Qureshi to lead his office in prosecuting high-profile graft cases.

“We use international experts almost in all our projects including roads and the railway. Why not allow external prosecutors to help us achieve better rule of law if they are going to take us to that path?”

The hiring of Qureshi has elicited mixed reactions in the country with some lawyers becoming jittery.

Qureshi has already taken up the alleged graft case against Deputy Chief Justice Philomena Mwilu.

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