, NAIROBI, Kenya, Dec 8 – The Speaker of National Assembly Kenneth Marende on Tuesday accused law enforcers of undermining the war against corruption for failing to implement existing laws.
Mr Marende said that Kenya had sufficient laws to deal with the vice but the laxity of civil servants had continued to encourage it. He said the lack of courage and commitment to ‘maintaining the rule of law’ by civil servants had promoted the culture of impunity and propagated corruption.
“We must move very swiftly and ensure that we enforce the law and enforce it strictly,” he said while addressing the 4th annual National Integrity Forum.
He said for the war to be successful, the Executive must get serious on implementing laws.
“We must get to a point where if a matatu stops in the middle of the road the driver is arrested immediately, taken to court and if possible prosecuted and sentenced,” the Speaker stated.
He challenged law enforcement agencies to strive to make corruption expensive.
“As it is in Kenya today corruption is very cheap. You engage in corrupt practices drain the public coffers of billions of shillings and live in comfort,” he protested.
The forum is organised to evaluate the progress of the country in tackling corruption. It brings together stakeholders from 14 sectors across the Executive, Legislature, private sector, non-governmental organisations, media and academia.
Speaking at the same forum, Civil Service chief Francis Muthaura urged state and non-state actors to re-think the strategies of dealing with corruption. Mr Muthaura said there is need to re-invent methods of implementing the available anti-corruption laws.
He regretted that besides various efforts by the government, Kenya continues to top the list of most corrupt nations in various global reports.
“This is a war we must fight and win and it cannot be about bashing the government. We are all culprits, those in the government and the private sector too and we must join hands in this fight,” he said.
Mr Muthaura added that the necessary political will was available.
“The aggressiveness with which our Parliament has taken the fight against corruption is admirable. When we look at the Executive arm we have facilitated the laws and generous funding. The issue here is about action,” he said.
Despite the establishment of the Kenya Anti Corruption Commission in 2003 the government has continued to limp in fighting the vice. Various civil service institutions and departments have continued to assume notoriety in several corruption reports.