Ministers defend Kenya anti graft body

January 8, 2011 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 8 – Two assistant ministers on Saturday came to the defence of the Kenya Anti Corruption Commission (KACC) and warned a section of Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) politicians against sabotaging its work.

Sports and Youth Affairs Assistant Minister Kabando wa Kabando and his Industrialization counterpart Nderitu Muriithi argued that leaders who compromised the war on graft should be arrested and charged.

Citing Chapter 6 of the new Constitution, the two leaders says public officials are duty bound to uphold high moral standards in line with the confines of the law instead of making political statements that undermines the work of independent commissions such as the KACC.

“State officers attacking KACC and its director for the unabated onslaught on the dragons of corruptions are in open and blatant breach of the constitutional clause they swore to ‘faithfully and conscientiously’ defend,” the leaders said in a joint statement.

They said that public officials were barred from compromising any public interest in favour of self gain added that the Constitution forbade impunity.
 They are urging the anti corruption commission to carry out its work independently.

“The President and Prime Minister should order de-flocking and de-whiping of such respective party members from Parliamentary departmental and watchdog committees, for their actions are untenable with the Katiba,” they said.

On Wednesday a section of ODM law makers accused the KACC of being biased in the war against graft and threatened to push for its disbandment. They claimed that KACC was only targeting members from the ODM after its chairman, Henry Kosgey, was prosecuted for alleged abuse of office.

Their concerns were however rubbished by a section of their PNU counterparts as well as members of civil society organizations who maintained that the war on graft should not be politicised.

The Kenya National Commission on Human Rights (KNCHR) said the independent offices should be allowed to operate without intimidation. They said it was selfish for MPs to toy with the idea of disbanding constitutional commissions every time their colleagues were targeted.

"We condemn this recent trend of disbandment. Independent commissions should be respected and given an opportunity to do their work," said Commissioner Hassan Omar Hassan.

Transparency International- Kenya called for the unconditional support of the anti corruption commission.

The KNCHR has also in the past faced the threat of dissolution after it was accused of coaching and bribing witnesses of the post election violence. 

Mr Kabando and Mr Muriithi also commended the KACC Director for his efforts in fighting graft.

“We laud Dr Lumumba for converting his poetry into fatal bites of merchants of corruption. The Puppets may shriek, but their patrons will sink. This is a new Kenya. We may lament ethnic and party importance, but the hammer is on,” they said. 



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