, NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 16 – Garsen Member of Parliament Danson Mungatana now says that his Anti-Corruption and Economic Crimes [Repeal] Bill 2009, is not meant to disband the Kenya Anti-Corruption Commission (KACC) but to improve its effectiveness under the office of the Attorney General.
The Narc Kenya legislator said on Monday that the Bill seeks to give the graft body prosecutorial powers to carry out its duties effectively.
“The idea was never to disband it. The idea was to make it work under the Attorney General,” he stated.
“Investigations are supposed to be carried out, and then the cases turned over to the prosecutors to take action,” he added.
The Garsen MP says he will write to the Speaker of the National Assembly Kenneth Marende to suspend the Bill to allow for productive input to make it stronger.
“What we want to do is to suspend the Bill until we see how the Constitution is providing for the KACC,” Mr Mungatana said.
“The final aim will be to make the anti-corruption body stronger,” he emphasised.
According to the legislator, under the modified Bill, public servants who are accused of corruption would have to resign for the duration of their cases.
“When the KACC is investigating a public servant today, that public servant is under no obligation to quit from the law,” Mr Mungatana said.
“So we want that in the new law, when you are under any corruption related case, you should not continue to stay in that office.”
The Bill, published on October 2, has drawn sharp reactions from lobby groups and MPs, many opposing it on grounds that it will weaken the fight against corruption, rather than boost it.
Mr Mungatana reiterated that the main reason for this is that investigation and prosecution are miles away from each other, thus the many cases where files are returned to the Kenya Anti-Corruption Commission for further investigation.
He said that there was a need harmonise the work of the KACC and that of the AG’s office, hence the need to make it as a department within the State Law Office.
He said that the salaries of the staff would be harmonised to uphold national standards.
“Their salaries and that of their staff would also be harmonised. It makes no sense to me for the director of KACC to be paid several times what the AG does yet he is junior to him,” he stated.
“The Attorney General earns about Sh1 million a month compared to the Sh2.5 million the last director of KACC was earning. The new KACC director will earn Sh1.7 million.”