Politicians ‘frustrating’ anti-graft efforts

Politicians have been accused of derailing the war on corruption.

They are deliberately sabotaging efforts to tackle the vice, according to a recent report.

The Dragon’s Trap: Kenya’s Politicised Anti-Corruption Architecture, which was released last week, accuses Cord leaders of shielding their allies from investigation or prosecution whenever they are implicated in corruption.

“The Opposition chiefs should agree to stop the politicisation of the war on corruption and protect anti-corruption institutions from corrupt cartels,” says the report by the International Policy Group (IPG).

Recently, Cord co-principal Kalonzo Musyoka accompanied suspended Lands Cabinet Secretary Charity Ngilu to a Nairobi court to face corruption-related charges.

Mrs Ngilu had been accused of blocking investigations into the Karen land scandal.

Despite President Kenyatta’s sustained war on corruption, highlighted by the suspension of five Cabinet secretaries and several principal secretaries, his efforts appear doomed to fail due to the “politicisation” of various agencies charged with tackling the vice, according to the report.

“It has become evident that the country’s anti-corruption institutions are in dire crisis, enmeshed in subversions by corruption cartels, corrupt officials and other opposed groups.”

GOVT FACING SERIOUS CHALLENGES

It warns that the government is facing a serious challenge of pursuing an anti-corruption agenda through “largely uncoordinated, dysfunctional or corrupted institutions and in a very hostile political environment”.

There has been anxiety over the fate of the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission after MPs passed a Bill that recommends the removal from office of its chief executive officer and his deputy.

The Commission for the Implementation of the Constitution and Cord leader Raila Odinga have led a public condemnation of the amendment, saying it would paralyse the fight against corruption.

According to the IPG, the government “must stay the course” and step up the fight against corruption by dismantling cartels and networks and taking concrete measures to restore the integrity of anti-corruption institutions.

The organisation also urges the Opposition and civil society groups to support the war on corruption through “evidence-driven” campaigns.