Declare corruption a national disaster, accountants tell Uhuru

Wednesday March 16 2016

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The Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Kenya (ICPAK) now wants the government to declare corruption a national disaster.

ICPAK Vice-Chairman Julius Mwatu, in a press briefing on Wednesday during the official opening of Annual Governance and Ethics Conference held at Voyager Beach Hotel, Mombasa, noted that the country was doing poorly in the war on graft.

“Considering the flood of reports of high-level corruption in various institutions, Kenya’s position among the community of nations could suffer even further. The 2015 Corruption Perception Index published by Transparency International ranked Kenya poorly,” Mr Mwatu said.

The country scored 25 on a scale of zero to 100 (with zero perceived to be highly corrupt, and 100 very clean) and sits at position 139 out of 168 countries and territories ranked.

The accountants called for a swift and decisive action against individuals involved in mismanaging public resources in various ministries, departments, agencies and county governments across the country.

“We recognise that we have laws against corruption and institutions that have been set up to lead in the fight against corruption. We are, however, appalled that these institutions lack the energy and support required for them to discharge their mandates,” he said.

Mr Mwatu added that the Anti-Corruption and Economic Crimes Act, the Public Officer Ethics Act, the Public Procurement and Disposal Act and all other relevant laws must be enforced expeditiously.

“We note with concern the trend by public officials to pass the buck to junior officers when faced with allegations of corruption. We are enraged by the circus surrounding corruption scandals under the Ministry of Devolution, Youth Enterprise Fund, and various, state corporations and county governments,” Mr Mwatu reiterated.

ICPAK also called for an immediate and systematic lifestyle audit of all public officials, starting from the Cabinet secretaries, governors, constitutional office holders, politicians, state corporations, law enforcement agencies, government agencies and all civil servants.

The institute urged a communal responsibility in tackling corruption and asked President Uhuru Kenyatta to take charge in the fight.

Mr Mwatu said the only thing ailing Kenya in the graft war in that existing laws are not being applied.