Kenyans must learn to resign, says KACC

January 20, 2011 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 20 – Public officials implicated in corruption should take responsibility for their actions and resign from office, Kenya Anti-Corruption Commission (KACC) Director Patrick Lumumba has said.

Prof Lumumba said it was necessary for those under investigation to take the initiative to vacate office to allow independent investigations.

He said doing this would reduce the prevalence of graft and pave way for the country\’s development.

"We are in the business of investigations. That is how impunity behaves, when we are discharging our mandate, there are people who think we should not discharge our mandate," he stated.

He added: "Sometimes I hear good Kenyans who are holders of high office saying that we are in the business of witch-hunting. I am not a hunter and there are no witches. How can I hunt when there are no witches?"

The anti-graft czar emphasised the need for everyone to be involved in the fight against corruption.

"All Kenyans irrespective of rank and office when they are suspected of engaging in economic crimes and corruption, are subject to our investigation for the purpose of determining whether they ought to be prosecuted or not," he stressed.

"Until the day that we tackle those issues seriously, we will always be spinning in the mud."

A new finding by Transparency International (TI) revealed that the country stands to lose Sh270 billion of this financial year\’s budget as a result of corruption.

According to the study, this is as a result of misuse of resources by government bodies\’.

TI Executive Director Samuel Kimeu stressed the need for everyone to hold government agencies and officials to account in the use of the reserves.

"Using the current year\’s budget, Sh270billion in this year\’s budget will be lost to corruption. I think this is enormous and it ought to outrage all of us that this is happening but I think more importantly, it must create a resolve in us to have more interest in how our resources are being utilised because they are our taxes,"

He was speaking during a forum where he underscored the seriousness corruption can have on the economy.

"The Sh270billion can do so much in this country. In fact, there are a few people who have had to do mathematics involving billions of shillings in their lives.

"So in a manner of speaking, we can say that this is a huge amount of money. But the question is, how can we deal with an issue like this?" he posed.

During the same event, the founder of Transparency International called for national and international cooperation to tackle the culture of impunity.

In a lecture titled Tackling Impunity in Developing Countries Comprehensively and Definitively organised by the Centre for Multiparty Democracy in Nairobi, Peter Eigen said such cooperation is needed to bring the guilty to justice and put an end to impunity in developing countries like Kenya

He said the government is under obligation to ensure justice for the victims of the 2007-2008 post-election violence.

He explained that impunity is the absence of criminal, administrative, disciplinary or civil responsibility and the ability of those accused to avoid investigation or punishment.

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