By Telford Aduda
President Uhuru Kenyatta has told agencies involved in the war against graft that their performance will be judged on the number of cases they prosecute and win.
The President, who was speaking after receiving a report from an anti-corruption task force, said that the success of the fight against corruption can only 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 that lack of coordination among government agencies fighting corruption was slowing the fight against graft. He asked the agencies responsible for fighting corruption to 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 President Kenyatta.
Apart from the EACC, other agencies involved in the fight against graft include the police and the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions.
President Kenyatta also noted that this week alone 72 individuals, including a Principal Secretary and five managing directors were arraigned in court on corruption-related offenses, which brings to 352 the total number of high-profile officials charged in court for corruption or abuse of office in the last six months.
President Kenyatta 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.
“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.
Attorney-General Githu Muigai, 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 that corruption cases be handled at the High Court level rather than in the magistrate courts to improve efficiency, 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. The report also contains recommendations on how to deal with the emerging problem of corruption at the devolved levels of government.