By: MOSES ODHIAMBO
Coalition for Reform and Democracy (Cord) leader Raila Odinga has challenged Jubilee administration to strengthen the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission if it was serious about fighting graft.
Mr Odinga, who spoke in Kisumu Sunday, demanded proper constitution of the agency and accused the government of paying lip service to the fight against the vice.
“Lack of commissioners to the EACC is a gap that must be filled. It is also an indication that the government is not serious about ending corruption,” Mr Odinga said during the launch of tourist boats in Lake Victoria.
Mr Odinga also welcomed the resignation of Devolution Cabinet Secretary Anne Waiguru, saying it was long overdue.
“That ministry needs to be completely overhauled,” he added.
He said the war on graft was far from being won because “the Jubilee government has crippled structures meant to fight the vice”.
“As we talk today, there is no properly constituted anti-corruption commission, meaning the Jubilee administration is just paying lip service in the war against corruption,” said Mr Odinga.
He said Ms Waiguru’s decision to step aside confirms the Opposition was right all along that corruption is deeply rooted in her ministry.
But on Saturday, Ms Waiguru cited health as the reason she resigned.
Mr Odinga said corruption is to blame for the economic crisis currently facing the country.
“Little has been done to strengthen institutions created to fight graft,” he lamented.
Mr Odinga expressed fears that officers currently at the EACC could be intimidated and manipulated to favour government officials under the current circumstances.
“Commissioners are the only people who enjoy security of tenure and cannot be intimidated or blackmailed and so, when you remove them and leave technocrats, then there is no way we can investigate corruption.”
“Technocrats can be manipulated to basically target certain individuals who are not connected to the powers that be. President Kenyatta’s efforts to hound EACC Chairman Mumo Matemu and his team out of office was suspect,” added Mr Odinga ,who was accompanied by his wife Ida.