GRAFT WAR IS STAGNATING AS ELECTION LOOMS

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Kenya’s anti-corruption war has largely stagnated. There is a general lack of progress in anti-corruption efforts despite the current administration’s pre-election promises to tackle corruption.

Various anti-corruption efforts are yet to significantly turn the tide against the vice. Laws and legislative amendments enacted in the last 10 years such as the Leadership and Integrity, Access to Information, and Elections Campaign Financing laws among others are yet to be fully implemented.

While there have been attempts to amplify corruption investigations and prosecutions, Kenyans are still frustrated by the slow turning of the wheels of justice as corruption cases have dragged on in the courts.

Kenyans now face the stark reality that the 2022 election will provide a political lifeline for some corruption suspects already charged in court, as their cases are yet to be concluded.

In essence, those accused or charged with corruption or impeached should be stopped from vying in the elections to safeguard public resources.

Corruption in public service has also denied Kenyans access to critical services including education and health. The soft underbelly of our governance system has been exposed by the impact of the Covid-19 Pandemic in these and other public service sectors.

Successive governments, including the Jubilee government, have made several commitments to tackle corruption, signed on to key global and regional conventions. There have been other undertakings at the international and national levels, but key commitments are yet to be realized, including enactment of a whistle-blower protection law.

While corruption remains both a social and economic problem, it is also largely a political problem in Kenya.
As the country heads to the general elections on August 9, we are lacking a robust framework for the enforcement of the campaign financing law. This should prevent the use of ‘dirty money’ for campaigns. It’s still a challenge.

The amounts of money being left in campaign locations under the guise of ‘community empowerment’ and clashes over cash pledges, are telling of the problem ahead.

Problems will unfold if decisive measures are not undertaken to ensure politicians are held accountable for the sources of their campaign funds, amounts raised and how these funds are used.

Courtesy of; The Star
Sheila Masinde; Executive Director, Transparency International Kenya.

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