, NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 20 – President Uhuru Kenyatta has told all agencies involved in the war against corruption that their performance will be judged on the number of cases they win.
President Kenyatta, who spoke after receiving a report from an anti-corruption task force, said the success of the fight against corruption will be measured by the number of corrupt individuals who are successfully prosecuted and sent to jail and the size of the property recovered.
He said the agencies tasked with fighting corruption must work together for them to make a meaningful impact in the efforts to control the misuse of public resources.
“It is possible to have successful prosecutions but the problem is clearly a lack of focus and coordination between the agencies involved in the anti-corruption war,” said the President.
He noted that it has been an important week for the fight against graft in Kenya. This week alone 72 individuals including a Principal Secretary and five Managing Directors were arraigned in court on corruption related offenses. This brings to a total of 352 high profile personalities charged in court for corruption or abuse of office in the last 6 months alone.
The current anti-corruption onslaught is the most heightened assault against corruption in Kenya’s recent history.
The President also directed Attorney General Githu Muigai and Head of Public Service Joseph Kinyua to operationalise the Asset Recovery Department at the State Law Office, so that it can execute its mandate in full.
President Kenyatta said the asset recovery department should be active and vibrant so that it is in a position to recover all property procured through corrupt means.
The asset recovery department is also supposed to ensure that it freezes all property connected to corruptions suspects so that they do not use their wealth to delay justice.
“Corruptly acquired assets should never be used to frustrate justice,” said the President who spoke at State House, today, after receiving the report from the Task Force of the Legal, Policy and Institutional Framework for Fighting Corruption in Kenya.
The taskforce, formed through a directive issued by President Kenyatta in March this year, explored obstacles that weaken the anti-corruption objectives of the government.
The Attorney General, who heads the multi-agency taskforce, said the report recommends radical changes to the anti-corruption law aimed at boosting the efficiency of the agencies involved in the fight against the vice.
“The report recommends radical changes to the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission including how it relates to the Director Public Prosecutions,” said the AG.
The report also recommends that corruption cases should be handled at the High Court level rather than the magistrate courts to improve efficiency.
“So much time is lost between the magistrates courts handling corruption cases and the High Court because suspects will not miss issues to raise at the constitutional court” said the AG.
The report also recommends an integrity code of conduct for Parliament to deal with impropriety within the ranks of legislators.
The report also calls for stronger internal audit systems for the Judiciary to safeguard public funds.
Also addressed by the taskforce is the issue of amnesty and restitution with the Attorney General revealing that there are many cases where suspects are willing to return what they procured illegally. He said most of this requests have been pending because there have been no rules to govern the process.
The report also contains recommendations on how to deal with the emerging problem of corruption at the devolved levels of government.