LSK now piles pressure on Wako

January 16, 2009 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 16 – The Law society of Kenya has challenged Attorney General Amos Wako to resign if he cannot decisively deal with grand graft now characterising the coalition government.

At a Press conference on Friday, the society’s Chairman Okong’o Omogeni accused Mr Wako and the Judiciary of failing in their respective mandates of fighting the vice.

“It should not be the duty of the AG to either appease the corrupt or substitute mercy with justice,” he said.

Mr Omogeni challenged the Executive to stand up to their promise of zero-tolerance to graft. “Now is the time for the government to demonstrate this pledge by taking firm and decisive action against all corrupt individuals irrespective of their hierarchy in government.”

He said the failure by State law agents to conclusively finalise past grand graft cases had encouraged the culture of impunity.

“LSK did attempt to privately prosecute suspects of the Anglo Leasing Scam but this case was taken over by the AG who terminated the prosecution. Whose interests does such action serve?’ the chairman wondered.

Mr Omogeni said the Society would release an audit performance of the law agencies in fighting graft. He also suggested giving prosecutorial powers to the Kenya Anti Corruption Commission to effectively deal with the vice that keeps haunting successive governments.

Pressure has been mounting on the coalition government to act after revelations of major corruption networks in the ministries of Agriculture and Energy. The revelations show that the country is set to lose about Sh7.6 billion in an oil related scandal pitted around the petroleum company, Triton.

And as more than 10 million Kenyans are reportedly facing starvation, it is believed that some businessmen, politicians and top government officials were making a kill by siphoning maize out of the country into Southern Sudan.

Triton collapsed last month with billions of shillings owed to the Kenya Commercial Bank, as well as other dealers and international financiers. The government has already contracted Interpol to help track the firm’s proprietor Yagnesh Devani, who is said to have fled the country.
The government has also instituted investigations into the maize scandals worth millions at the Agriculture ministry but the LSK maintains that the Judiciary has failed in its mandate and wants action on its head, Chief Justice Evans Gicheru.

Last year the society wrote a protest letter to the President calling on him to institute a tribunal to investigate Justice Gicheru but Mr Omogeni has expressed disappointment that the Head of State had not responded to the letter.

The society, he said, had written a reminder to Justice Minister Martha Karua last Monday and would now seek assistance from the National Assembly over the matter.

“If we give a petition to the President and he fails to act on it we have an option of moving to Parliament asking its members to pass a resolution to force him to act,” he said.


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