KACC closing in on 4 Cabinet ministers

December 14, 2010 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Dec 14 – The Kenya Anti Corruption Commission announced on Tuesday that it was almost finalising its graft investigations against four Cabinet Ministers.

Director Patrick Lumumba said that his commission would forward its recommendations to the Attorney General in a week’s time on the necessary action to be taken.

"We are doing very well and we will be making our investigations within the next one week," he said.

Dr Lumumba added that another investigation on 45 parastatal heads was also at an advanced stage.

"We have already issued a few letters on lifestyle audit. We want to know by what magic they have attained certain wealth when their salaries are known," he reiterated.

In October, Dr Lumumba had revealed that they were investigating four cabinet ministers and about 45 senior heads of parastatals over allegations of graft.

Dr Lumumba said that his Commission was closing in on the personalities who had been implicated in various corruption schemes including the misappropriation of funds meant for the resettlement of Internally Displaced Persons.

And although he declined to reveal details of the suspected persons, Dr Lumumba added that those found culpable would be held to account for their misdeeds.

"We are investigating very senior public officials whose names we can’t disclose at this stage, but in the fullness of time we will. Investigations are not a hundred metre’s sprint, we do our best, do it well and refuse to be cornered by giving timelines," Dr Lumumba said on October 29.

In the recent past, KACC has interrogated Industrialisation Minister Henry Kosgey over the alleged irregular importation of motor vehicles. The anti graft sleuths have also questioned former Foreign Affairs Minister Moses Wetangula over the procurement and sale of Kenyan embassies in Japan, Nigeria, Belgium and Pakistan.

The KACC is also investigating graft claims against Water Minister Charity Ngilu following allegations made by assistant minister Mwangi Kiunjuri.

Since taking over office over four months ago, Dr Lumumba has been vocal against the vice and has promised to deal ruthlessly with past and present corrupt activities irrespective of personalities.

"Let the government know that we will make more irritating statements," he said.

President Mwai Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga have also come out strong against the vice. In his Jamhuri Day speech the President said no one would be spared despite their standing in the government.

While affirming his commitment, Dr Lumumba told the Executive to ensure that "their support is both public and private."

"I ask them that when we get close to some who are in the inner sanctums of power we don’t want to hear phone calls," he said.

Speaking while releasing the commission’s annual report, the anti graft Czar warned that his commission would go to all lengths to weed out the vice out of the public sector including.

During the year the commission received a total of 4,372 reports from the public and attended to 1,281 that fell within its mandate.

The Commission has been able to recover thorough the court illegally acquitted assets worth Sh1.7 billion.

The Director hailed collaborative efforts from the Attorney General’s office which he said was facilitating his work.

According to the report the sluggish justice system remains a major challenge in the war against graft. Dr Lumumba hoped that the replacement of Attorney General Amos Wako and Chief Justice Evan Gicheru as per the new Constitution would boost the war.

"We need new blood to fight corruption. New wine should be poured in new wine skins," Prof Lumumba said.


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