, NAIROBI, Kenya, Sep 27 – The fight against corruption has now shifted focus to the private sector with members readily subjecting themselves to vetting and investigations by the country’s graft watchdog.
Kenya Private Sector Alliance (KEPSA) Chairman Patrick Obath said on Monday that the society would forward the names of those suspected of fraudulent acts to the Kenya Anti Corruption Commission (KACC).
He argued that the private sector bore equal responsibility with those in the public sector in the fight against graft.
“We will be offering our members to KACC and this is actually a very large number of people; we are talking of about 12 to 13 million people in both the formal and informal sectors of the private sector. If we can use this platform to start changing the perception we will be covering a third of the population,” he said.
Mr Obath who was speaking during a ceremony where a Memorandum of Understanding was signed with the KACC also noted that fighting fraud would save the country billions of shillings in revenue and help in the realisation of Vision 2030.
“In Kenya, it is estimated that corruption in all its different forms costs firms approximately four percent of their annual sales. Cumulatively, the World Bank estimates bribery to cost Kenyans about $80 billion each year, yet approximately half the population lives on less than Sh80 a day,” he said.
On his part, KACC Director Patrick Lumumba proposed that all the ‘corruption-free-zone’ signposts in public institutions be pulled off until such institutions were audited and declared ‘corruption-free’.
“These signposts are deceptive and we (KACC) will talk to all government ministries and parastatals to bring them down. I look forward to the day when the ‘no-corruption’ signs in government departments will not just be decorations of things we don’t mind,” he said.
He also asked those in the private sector to stop engaging the public sector in corrupt dealings: “I look forward to the day when those in the private sector will say that they will not accept contracts tainted with corruption.”
Dr Lumumba further promised that the KACC would soon release findings of the ongoing corruption cases and ensure those behind each of them was held to account.
“We have a responsibility of preventing corruption and we will have to speak out time and time again against corruption. Those who feel that we talk too much and act little cannot be helped. I have never heard of a teacher who does not speak,” he said.
He added that Kenyans should not entirely look up to the KACC to fight the vice as each of them had a part to play.
“The question is not: what have we (KACC) done so far but rather what have you as a Kenyan done?” he said.
The outspoken Director also announced that the anti graft body had launched investigations into the corruption scandal surrounding the Kenya Broadcasting Corporation, Harambee Cooperative Society and that it had re-opened the Anglo-leasing case.
Dr Lumumba added that KACC was also working with the Interim Independent Electoral Commission to compile a report on the corruption and bribery that mars electoral processes.
“One of the things that you and I know is that Kenya’s elections are bedeviled with corruption. The electoral candidates – because they have no limit of expenditure – use their money to influence the voters who in turn receive the money. Our duty is to change this culture,” he said.