, NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 20 – Attorney General Githu Muigai says intensifying the fight against corruption can significantly reduce other challenges like terrorism, drug trafficking, poverty, piracy and low foreign direct investment.
Muigai indicated that with less corruption, individuals are highly unlikely to engage in such activities which bring reproach.
He also pointed out that the promulgation of the Constitution of Kenya, 2010 brought with it a plethora of opportunities in so far as the fight against corruption is concerned.
“For the first time in the history of this country, the fight against corruption got entrenched in the Constitution, through Article 79, which provides for the establishment of an independent ethics and anti-corruption commission. Thus, challenges to the constitutionality and independence of the anti-corruption commission were surmounted,” he said.
He stated that the Constitution has created more avenues and benchmarks for checking the ethics, integrity and conduct of public officers.
“I am happy to note that the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission Act, 2011 and the Leadership and Integrity Act, 2012, have provided an enabling institutional and legal framework for purposes of realizing the objects of Chapter Six of the Constitution,” he said.
“I’m equally happy to report that a team has been put in place to finalise on the development of the National Ethics and Ant-Corruption Policy as a key pillar of our development agenda. The expected outcomes of the National Anti-Corruption policy are, among others: Integrated and coordinated anti-corruption programmes, laws, policies, and strategies.”
He stated that besides enacting the pieces of legislation necessary for implementing the integrity provisions of the Constitution, Kenya has fully established the institutions required for fully implementing the country’s policies on leadership and integrity and combating corruption.
“There is also good political goodwill as evidenced by His Excellency the President of Kenya in his resolve to fight corruption. His Excellency the President is actively involved in the programmes spearheaded by the anti-corruption agencies,” he said.
He emphasized the government’s commitment to remain committed to international and regional anti-corruption obligations.
“We are active members of the International Association of Anti-Corruption Authorities (IAACA), the Association of African Anti-Corruption Authorities (AAACA) and the Network of Anti-Corruption Agencies in Commonwealth Africa. The government appreciates and supports the efforts and programmes of EAAACA in the fight against corruption within the region,” he said.
Chairman of the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission Mumo Matemu also observed that the effect of corruption on the economy of a country cannot be fully fathomed.
“From undermining the democratic values and institutions, weakening the efforts to promote gender equality, and hampering economic and social development, and robbing the poor, it is evident that corruption is a major contributor to world poverty and a hindrance to equitable development. The efforts at regional integration face a stiff challenge in the name of corruption. Regional peace and security is at risk if corruption is not stemmed,” he said.
He stated that the challenge being faced in the fight against corruption is the urgent need to have a symbiotic working relationship between the various organs of the State.
“This fight should not be left to a select few like the Police, the Judiciary and the anti-corruption bodies. In contrast, mistrust between anti-corruption agencies and other State agencies has been commonly identified as a main reason for failure. This togetherness that we are advocating should therefore include the civil society, media, independent experts, researchers, networks, specialized institutions, to mention but a few,” he stated.
He further pointed out that the link between corruption, peace and security, organised crime and terrorism has been well documented.
“Each and every country represented here can vividly draw this linkage. Our respective governments as a result have at times found themselves unduly bogged down in policy formulation and strategizing on how best to deal with the menace to the detriment of service delivery and development,” he indicated.