What you need to know:
- The government is soon commissioning a study to establish whether the Sh 2billion daily loss is true or false.
- A donor has already offered to fund the research and a report will be released soon
The government will soon commission research to establish whether claims that Kenya losing Sh2billion a day as fronted by former President Uhuru Kenyatta in 2021 is true or false.
This was said by the Head of Public Service, Felix Kopskei during the consultative meeting between the State and Civil Society organisations in Nairobi with Mr Koskei saying there was a donor willing to fund the entire report.
“The claims may be true or false, on my own I cannot substantiate the claims, but we have a donor ready to fund the study to establish the exact figure we are losing per day and a report will follow. We are almost commissioning the study,” he said.
Mr Koskei said the government was particularly displeased by how counties could accumulate pending bills to the tune of billions yet they were receiving their annual disbursements from the government, a trait that confirms corruption had taken root in the devolved units.
The Public Service boss said the government will not tolerate any corruption and cautioned public servants against engaging in corrupt dealings will be handled without sympathy.
“All public servants will be held personally accountable when found with corrupt dealings. The President has been clear that there will be no sacred cows. If you are caught, you deal with the consequences, and dealing with it means replacing you,” he said.
Civil societies, including Haki Afrika, County Governance Watch, Siasa Place, International Budget Partnership, Mzalendo Trust, NGO Coordination Board as well as an anti-graft watchdog, the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission were urged to intensify public education on the dangers of corruption and get everyone on board in the fight.
“As a government, we will work with you (civil societies) and institutions to undo the damage corruption has brought to our country and we need every agent to be part and parcel of this war,” the Head of Public Service said.
To effectively deal with corruption, Mr Koskei said Kenyans must first be made to understand that the vice, which includes bribery, fraud, extortion, patronage, and kickbacks are not acceptable social norms and should be shunned.
On his part, Haki Africa’s Executive Director, Hussein Khalid urged the government not to only focus on acts of corruption but also to ensure a full adherence to the law and ensure service delivery to Kenyans.
“Denial of service to some people in favour of others is also corruption. The State’s refusal to acknowledge the police brutality and killings meted out to Kenyans earlier this year is worrying. We cannot be here fighting corruption while condoning impunity,” he said.
The Institute for Social Accountability’s National Coordinator, Diana Gichengo said that whereas the president was keen on fighting graft, he should do so in accordance with the law and not use threats while at it.
This she said in reference to President Willian Ruto’s quote two months ago when he said there were only three options (mambo ni matatu) in dealing with people alleged to sabotage the country’s progress. The options included being thrown in prison, being forced to leave the country or going to heaven.
“Mambo ni matatu, is not the way to go. Let us fight corruption using our laws and constitution. Deviation from the rule of law is the first point of allowing corruption,” she said.
Francis Kairu, from the Tax Justice Network- Africa challenged the government’s policy of tax incentives offered to businesses operating in special economic zones saying the policies denied the country of the much-needed revenue to boost the economy.
International Budget Partnership’s Abraham Ochieng, said the government must find ways of tightening the noose during budget formulations since most of the projects being undertaken are overpriced thus giving room for looting of public money.
“There is a need to rein in on the corruption at projects even as we have strict regulations guiding our borrowing and spending as a country, we must have disciplined financing,” he said.
To effectively change the public’s perception of the glorification of corruption, EACC’s Deputy Director, Education and Public Awareness said the children and youth are to be targeted and imparted with skills and knowledge that demonise graft from an early stage.