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I am fighting corruption hard, Uhuru tells Kenyans

20 November 2015, 18:31 Victor Tinto

Nairobi - I am fighting corruption hard, President Uhuru Kenyatta has told Kenyans. 

The President has told all agencies involved in the war against corruption that their performance will be judged on the number of cases they win.

The President, who spoke after receiving a report from an anti-corruption task force, said the success of the fight against corruption will be measured by the number of corrupt individuals who are successfully prosecuted and sent to jail and the size of the property recovered.

He said the agencies responsible for fighting corruption must work together in order to make a meaningful impact in the efforts to control the misuse of public resources.

“It is possible to have successful prosecutions, but the problem is clearly a lack of focus and coordination between the agencies involved in the anti-corruption war,” said the President.

Mr Kenyatta noted that it has been an important week for the fight against graft in Kenya.

This week alone 72 individuals, including a principal secretary and five managing directors were arraigned in court on corruption-related offenses. This brings to 352 the total number of high-profile personalities charged in court for corruption or abuse of office in the last six months alone.

The current anti-corruption onslaught is the most heightened assault against corruption in Kenya’s recent history.

The President also directed Attorney-General Githu Muigai and Head of Public Service Joseph Kinyua to put the Asset Recovery Department at the State Law Office into operation so that it can execute its mandate in full.

President Kenyatta said the asset recovery department should be active and vibrant so that it is in a position to recover all property procured through corrupt means.

The asset recovery department is also supposed to ensure that it freezes all property connected to corruption suspects so that they do not use their wealth to delay justice.

“Corruptly acquired assets should never be used to frustrate justice,” said the President, who spoke at State House on Friday after receiving the report from the Task Force of the Legal, Policy and Institutional Framework for Fighting Corruption in Kenya.

The task force, formed through a directive issued by the President in March this year, explored obstacles that weaken the anti-corruption objectives of the government.

The Attorney-General, who heads the multi-agency task force, said the report recommends radical changes to the anti-corruption law aimed at boosting the efficiency of the agencies involved in the fight against the vice.

“The report recommends radical changes to the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission, including how it relates to the Director of Public Prosecutions,” said the AG.

The report also recommends that corruption cases be handled at the High Court level rather than in the magistrate courts to improve efficiency.

“So much time is lost between the magistrate courts handling corruption cases and the High Court because suspects will not miss issues to raise at the constitutional court,” said the AG.

The report also recommends an integrity code of conduct for Parliament to deal with impropriety within the ranks of lawmakers.

The report also calls for stronger internal audit systems for the Judiciary to safeguard public funds.

Also addressed by the task force is the issue of amnesty and restitution, with the Attorney-General revealing that there are many cases where suspects are willing to return what they procured illegally. He said most of these requests have been pending because there have been no rules to govern the process.

The report also contains recommendations on how to deal with the emerging problem of corruption at the devolved levels of government. 

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- MyNews24

Disclaimer: All articles and letters published on MyNews24 have been independently written by members of News24's community. The views of users published on News24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of News24. News24 editors also reserve the right to edit or delete any and all comments received.

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