Sapit calls for tactical change in war on corruption

Wednesday April 24 2019

CORRUPTION

Anglican Church of Kenya Archbishop Jackson ole Sapit speaks to reporters at St Peters ACK Church in Siaya Town on September 13, 2018. He has said graft must be stamped out for the growth of the country. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

KENNEDY KIMANTHI
By KENNEDY KIMANTHI
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The Anglican Church of Kenya has warned that the campaign against corruption can only succeed if Kenyans stopped deliberately undermining institutions mandated to fight it.

Archbishop Jackson ole Sapit suggested that the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC), Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI), Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Noordin Haji and Judiciary should now adopt a more aggressive approach in their work.

Part of the bigger challenge for the investigative agencies has been balancing interests in cases where individuals with political connections are involved.

But the heads of these institutions have vowed not be moved by the backlash after they became the punching bags of some politicians.

VIRTUE

On Tuesday, Archbishop Sapit said the war on corruption needs its fighters to take action in a strategic way so as to sustain it.

“State institutions which are mandated to fight corruption are deliberately being undermined, discredited, neglected or underfunded to weaken them. As Kenyans and as God’s children, we must say no to those undermining those institutions and putting blocks against the war on corruption,” he said.

He added: “We must tell them firmly that corruption is sinful and that God sees through their evil plans and actions,” he said. The archbishop spoke in Nairobi after meeting with members of the Multi-Sectoral Initiative Against Corruption.

The team is made up of representatives from the media, the private sector, academia, public transport, trade unions, the government, religious institutions and the development sector.

Kenya has lost billions of shillings in public funds in mega scandals that unfold almost every day, with each fraud seemingly bigger and bolder than previous ones.

POLITICS

According to the 2018 global Corruption Perceptions Index) released by Transparency International, Kenya scored 27 points out of 100, down from 28 in 2017, and took position 144 out of 180.

DPP Noordin Haji and DCI George Kinoti have been lauded for adding new resolve and muscle to the war on graft, and the two now have a new partner in former military and intelligence officer Twalib Mbarak, who recently replaced Mr Halakhe Waqo as EACC chief executive officer.

Deputy President William Ruto is on record accusing Mr Kinoti of being used to undermine mega Jubilee projects under the guise of fighting corruption.

Last month at Kapng'etuny Primary School in Kericho County, Mr Ruto claimed the DCI had been sucked into a political scheme and strategy to undermine the implementation of major development projects and in the end scuttle President Uhuru Kenyatta’s legacy by making it impossible to deliver pre-election pledges.

The DCI is investigating various high-profile fraud and abuse of office cases, and has arraigned several heads of parastatals on charges of abuse of office and conspiracy to steal public funds.

POVERTY

President Kenyatta recently said his administration’s war on corruption had cost him supporters but vowed to continue.

He has also acknowledged public pressure on this issue but stressed that corrupt individuals would only be pursued within the limits of the law.

And Archbishop Sapit, in an address to the nation, said that the entrenched nature of corruption must be stamped out.

“Corruption is in every nook of our society, and all of us experience it in one way or another. It has made it difficult for the poor to access essential basic services,” he said.

The clergyman said the haemorrhaging of public funds will do enormous damage to the country’s already struggling economy, warning the vice remains the biggest hindrance to Kenya’s economic progress.

Present at the press briefing were Mr Lee Karuri of Kenya Private Sector Alliance, Nation Media Group chairman Wilfred Kiboro and Pacific Group of Companies chair Karanja Kabage.