Anti-graft lobby questions state’s commitment to fight corruption

TI executive director sheila masinde

Transparency International Kenya's Executive Director Sheila Masinde during a press conference in Nairobi on October 8, 2020.

Photo credit: Francis Nderitu | Nation Media Group

An anti-corruption watchdog has questioned the Kenya Kwanza government’s commitment to eliminating graft as a new global report shows Kenya recorded scant progress in tackling the vice.

Transparency International Kenya has criticised the appointment of individuals facing criminal cases to senior government positions and the withdrawal of numerous corruption cases touching on allies of President William Ruto.

“The Kenya Kwanza Coalition in its manifesto, promised to end the weaponisation and politicisation of anti-corruption efforts by allowing the relevant institutions to freely exercise the independence given to them by the constitution ... However, the government has not yet lived up to its billing in the fight against corruption,” TI Kenya said in a statement yesterday while releasing the Corruption Perceptions Index 2022 report, which shows Kenya had a score of 32 out of 100, a slight improvement from 30 points in 2021.

The actions, TI Kenya says, show a disregard of the leadership and integrity standards set out in Chapter Six of the Constitution, and undermine public confidence in the justice system.

The report further points to publicly known corruption and other criminal cases of high-profile individuals that have been inexplicably dropped by the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (ODPP) in less than five months of Kenya Kwanza being in power.

“The withdrawal of corruption and other cases has caused a precipitous fall of public confidence in the justice system in the country and anti-corruption efforts. Dropping of corruption cases casts doubt on the ODPP’s independence, transparency, fairness, competence, professionalism and its mandate in the justice system in Kenya,” said TI Kenya’s executive director Sheila Masinde.

TI Kenya has recommended to Kenya Kwanza four ways through which to combat corruption: promoting ethical values, strengthening political commitment, encouraging civic involvement, and supporting media reporting.

These measures, they said, would establish a culture of integrity, support anti-corruption institutions, empower citizens and hold corrupt individuals accountable. By implementing these actions, TI Kenya says the government will create a society that values transparency and honesty.