EACC should be more serious in war on graft

Monday January 11 2016


The Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission should consider opening investigations into the so-called “chicken” scandal in the wake of last Friday’s ruling by a London court.

Although the authorities in the UK have investigated and successfully prosecuted company directors who bribed election and examination officials in Kenya, the investigative institutions in Nairobi are yet to take any significant legal action against those believed to have benefited from the scandal here at home.

To date, there has been no conviction and there is no evidence that investigative agencies in Kenya have reached out to their UK counterparts to seek assistance to conclude the case.

While convicting the company on Friday — a year after sending its directors to jail — the London court observed that corruption perpetuated by UK companies abroad is bad for that country’s reputation and that of its businesses and that it also goes against the spirit of competition.

The ruling is an indication of both the legal and political will to convict those who engage in corruption and acts as a deterrent to other companies and their directors engaged in business at home and abroad.

There are many lessons worth learning, including the fact that the Judiciary in the UK is seen to be working, having concluded the matter successfully within a reasonable time as Kenya dithers.

Procrastination remains the bane of fighting corruption in this country.

Investigations take long to complete and court cases inordinately long to conclude.

Convictions are few and far between.

Those who engage in corruption are hardly ever made to face the consequences of their actions.

And because they appear to thrive, it is an incentive for others to engage in the crime.

As long as this remains the norm, the task of fighting corruption will always be an uphill one despite its toll on the economy and honest enterprise.