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Stop harassing whistleblowers, TI urges govt

20 January 2015, 16:05 Mike Munga

Nairobi - Transparency International Kenya has condemned the arrest of blogger Abraham Mutai, the subsequent temporary suspension of his Twitter account and closure of his blogs.

In a Statement sent to newsrooms, the civil society organisation said Mr. Mutai and other bloggers in Kenya have played an important role in highlighting corruption incidents at the national and county levels in the recent past.

“Over the last two months, Mutai has published information, backed by documentary evidence, of corruption in a public agency and some county governments. We expect the relevant authorities to act on such information by conducting further investigations on the alleged corruption incidents, rather than oppressing whistleblowers,” the statement read.

Read Also: Press freedom in focus as Media Council summons newspaper

The statement continued, “One of the biggest challenges in preventing and fighting corruption lies in detecting and exposing bribery, fraud, theft of public funds and other acts of wrongdoing. Whistleblowing is one of the most effective ways of detecting fraud and wrongdoing and facilitating measures to minimize or to prevent further losses.”

The release that was signed by Executive Director, Samuel Kimeu regretted that whistleblowers commonly face retaliation in the form of harassment, dismissal from employment, blacklisting, threats and even physical violence.

The organization called upon the Office of the Attorney General, under which the Department of Justice falls, to expedite the process of getting whistleblower protection policy, get it tabled and passed by Parliament, and enacted into law.

“Transparency International Kenya and other civil society organisations in Kenya have been advocating for a whistleblower protection policy and law. A good whistleblower protection policy and law will go a long way in protecting people like Mutai, who come forth with reports of corruption,” the statement further noted.

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