TI faults Parliament in graft war

March 9, 2009 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 9 – Parliament has been ranked highest among institutions undermining the fight against corruption in the country.

In a survey sponsored by Transparency International (TI) released on Monday, respondents placed the Judiciary second while the Executive ranked third.

TI Kenya Executive Director Job Ogoda said that although Kenyans believed leaders had the power and ability to fight the vice they lacked political will.

“Most of the institutions of governance have been captured by corrupt, narrow, vested interests and are working in the interests of those narrow parochial individuals. Therefore when you are laying blame it has to be spread across the board,” he said.

The survey conducted between February 23 and March 3 involved 1,000 respondents selected from Nairobi, Mombasa, Kisumu, Nakuru and Eldoret.

“On aggregation, 25.6 percent of responses indicted Parliament, 24.5 percent Judiciary, 17.9 percent the Executive, 14.8 percent indicted the Constitution while 13.4 percent blamed the Kenya Anti Corruption Commission,” TI Programme officer Mwangi Kibathi said in his presentation.

Although the 10th Parliament has shown aggression in fighting the vice including censuring government officials in the House, 69 percent of the sampled population said they had lost confidence in the current Parliament to fight graft.

“Only 31 percent of the respondents would re-elect their current MPs judging them on the anti corruption agenda. This reflects only 62 out of the 210 legislators,” Mr Kibathi said.

Ministers and the justice agencies have continued to trade blame even as the coalition government is haunted by mega scandals in the oil and maize sectors and the unresolved Anglo Leasing saga.  Mr Ogoda called for the creation of an independent Public Prosecution office and giving the Kenya Anti Corruption Commission prosecutorial powers in the new Constitution to intensify the fight.

Global TI Board Chairperson Huguette Labelle, who was present at the unveiling of the report, said Kenya which is currently ranked 147 in the world should strengthen the independence of its institutions in the upcoming constitutional reform.

“We look forward to Kenya establishing a far-sighted constitutional order that allows for separation of powers, comprehensive mechanisms for accountability, good financial management of available resources and independent oversight institutions,” she said.


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