Staff crisis hits anti-graft agency
Posted Monday, April 30 2012 at 22:30
The fight against corruption is grinding to a halt after the contracts of employment for 62 staff expired on Monday.
Of those, 12 are investigators, the people charged with tracking down offenders and building the evidence against them.
Another 11 are in the operations department, which is also crucial to anti-graft fight because they are charged with raiding premises and helping in the arrest of offenders.
At the moment, the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission does not have commissioners, the senior manager who are supposed to run it.
Parliament has not approved the three nominees presented to it by President Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga.
The staffing crisis at KACC means that for all intents and purposes, the graft watchdog is grinding to a stop, if it already hasn’t.
According to the EACC Act 2011, the staff members shall cease to be employees of the commission once their terms ended.
But they will be required to be vetted if they are to continue with their work.
Without commissioners to organise the vetting, retention or replacement of staff, the organisation has been plunged into a crisis.
On Monday, EACC spokesman Nicholas Simani said the commission was aware the contracts of some staff had expired.
“The commission is looking at the law to find the best way of addressing this situation,” he told the Nation.
He said acting secretary Jane Muthaura was consulting with the Justice ministry and other arms of government, including the Attorney General, to reach the best solution.
He was of the view that the commission would have reached the best solution by the end of Monday.
In the meantime, Mr Simani said, the commission was doing everything possible to ensure its operations were not affected.
No documents regarding ongoing investigations will be lost, he said.
But he added: “It is true some operations have slowed down.”
“Once we have new commissioners in place, every employee will have to be vetted as set out in the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission Act.”
In the absence of the commissioners, the 62 officials are likely to leave the commission in much the same way as left its directors and advisory board members.