Tackle graft to have economic prosperity, says anti-graft head

Thursday March 10 2016

National Anti-Corruption Campaign Steering Committee (NACCSC) acting director David Gathii presents at a past anti-corruption sensitisation workshop. Mr Gathii said on March 10, 2016 that corruption is jeopardizing economic growth because it is slowing down and delaying projects. FILE PHOTO | CHRIS OJOW | NATION MEDIA GROUP

National Anti-Corruption Campaign Steering Committee (NACCSC) acting director David Gathii presents at a past anti-corruption sensitisation workshop. Mr Gathii said on March 10, 2016 that corruption is jeopardizing economic growth because it is slowing down and delaying projects. FILE PHOTO | CHRIS OJOW | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

By KENNEDY KIMANTHI
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An anti-corruption team has urged Kenyans to be vigilant and dedicated to the war against corruption.

National Anti-Corruption Campaign Steering Committee (NACCSC) acting director David Gathii said Thursday corruption is jeopardizing economic growth because it is slowing down and delaying projects.

“There are a raft of projects across the country that are implemented badly because of corruption. You find that most of the projects do not serve the interests of the public,” Mr Gathii said.

He spoke during a sensitisation and capacity building workshop at the Mulanthankari Multipurpose Development Institute in Meru.

The event was attended by the newly elected committee of the Ntakira Water Project after the first one was disbanded following claims of corruption and ineffectiveness.

The project, registered in 2001, has so far spent Sh17.2 million in public funds but the 4,000 would-be beneficiaries are yet to get any water.

“When we educated the beneficiaries on corruption and how it can be prevented from the implementation of public projects and programs, they identified the problem to be the project management committee which was not responsive to the needs of the public,” he said.

“Members of project management units must be elected by the beneficiaries because when they are appointed, they can be subjects to manipulation.

"That is the most important aspect of safeguarding the resources sent for development because the public plays a major role in ensuring projects are not affected by corruption,” Mr Gathii added.

PUBLIC INTEREST

The acting director noted that corruption continues to subject many Kenyans to poverty while a few individuals continue to enrich themselves by looting public coffers.

His sentiments were echoed by Meru Water executive Mary Mwiti, who noted that the high frequency with which resources for projects aimed at uplifting the common mwananchi are being misused or stolen is a clear indication of how deeply rooted the vice is.

Mrs Mwiti told the public to report cases of alleged corruption.

She said there is an urgent need to protect the public interest so that projects can achieve their intended economic development agenda.

“Continuous and relentless wrangles have become common in such projects. It is my belief that the new committee will strive to ensure that all resources are accounted for and used for the intended purpose,” Mrs Mwiti said.

The NACCSC was established in May 2004 to create awareness and mobilise Kenyans to eradicate corruption.