The Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) Chairperson Archbishop (Emeritus) Dr. Eliud Wabukala has urged Kenyans to always elect persons of integrity, ‘bearing in mind that they (citizens) ultimately bear the consequences of bad leadership.’
In a forum bringing together key actors and stakeholders in the fight against corruption, the EACC Chairperson said that Chapter 6 of the Constitution was meant to insulate public trust from abuse by those entrusted with leadership positions. He added that in enacting this Chapter, Kenyans expected that only leaders who meet the integrity threshold would occupy public office.
He said that it is only by electing persons of integrity that ‘we can circumvent the obstacles that are often associated with the ineffective legal frameworks on public service integrity.’
Dr. Wabukala further informed the gathering that EACC has adopted a “Partnership Approach” as one of its key strategies in confronting corruption and unethical conduct.
He also recognized the role of development partners such as the International Development Law Organization and Transparency International, whom he noted have remained great champions of good governance in Kenya. He said that there is great potential and hope in the resolve to work together in eradicating corruption in the country.
The EACC Chairperson also noted that, in the recent past, the Courts have continued to develop sound jurisprudence by interpreting the laws in a purposive manner, especially in the areas of asset recovery and unexplained wealth. He appealed to the Judiciary to extend the progressive efforts to the application of Chapter 6 on leadership and integrity, so as to give effect to the integrity threshold envisaged therein.
Speaking at the same event, EACC CEO Twalib Mbarak said that the Government has demonstrated its commitment to fight corruption by empowering institutions in the criminal justice system. He noted that more Judicial Officers, Prosecutors and Investigators have been appointed and capacity-building programmes organized, both locally and internationally, for officers drawn from the Justice Sector.
He added that as a result of the collaboration, considerable progress has been recorded in dealing with the turnaround time for investigations. This has been achieved through routine engagements between the Commission and the Office of the Director of Public Prosecution for better understanding and management of cases.
Making his remarks at the same forum, the Director Public Prosecution Noordin Haji decried that corruption facilitates the commission of other transnational and organized crimes such as trafficking in persons, cybercrime, drug trafficking and terrorism, ultimately compromising and jeopardizing national security and collective interests. Mr. Haji remarked that “each time we make the decision to charge and prosecute the corrupt, we know that we are safeguarding the public good. Each prosecution sends a powerful message to the corrupt or those being tempted by opportunities to steal that they shall be held to account.”
The anti-graft bosses were addressing participants drawn from the anti-corruption Multi-Agency Team, the National Council on Administrative Justice, Kenya Leadership Integrity Forum, Private Sector, County Governments, Parliament and Civil Society.