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Lumumba remains tight lipped on ouster

NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 30 – Outgoing Kenya Anti- Corruption Commission (KACC) Director PLO Lumumba on Tuesday remained tight lipped over his planned removal from office within the next one week.

Prof Lumumba who appeared at a forum on national cohesion and integration for students at the Alliance High School, told the media that he would not discuss anything about the anti-graft agency.

“My reading from the book of Ecclesiastes tells me there is a time for everything. But I want to tell you that I will answer no question, respond to no question; I will not be persuaded, I will not be intimidated, I will not be cajoled,” he warned the media amid cheers from the students.

“The media is here looking for a juicy story… I tell you, you will not get one. The drama you are looking for, you will not get it! There is time for everything and I am a respecter of seasons,” he stated.

Prof Lumumba and his four assistant directors were on Monday directed by the KACC advisory Board to hand over office to senior staff at the Commission within the next seven days.  The hand-over is to facilitate a transition to the new Ethics and Anti Corruption Commission which is to be established after President Mwai Kibaki signed a new law on Sunday.

The new Commission is in line with requirements of the new Constitution. Parliament however, in debating the Bill, decreed that the current directors resign and apply afresh to fill the positions of commissioners in the new body.

“You shall not have to follow me.  I shall call you; I will sit with you for a whole day if necessary, I will answer all your questions… that time is coming, this is not the time,” he affirmed.

MPs were vocal against Prof Lumumba, accusing him of failing in his duties.

The anti graft czar has launched a number of probes on current Members of Parliament.

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Under his leadership KACC opened investigations against Water Minister Charity Ngilu, suspended Industrialisation Minister Henry Kosgey, Education Minister Sam Ongeri and Runyenjes MP Cecily Mbarire among others.

Prof Lumumba who was the key speaker during the four-day conference that kicked off on Sunday expressed concerns about rampant corruption in the country.

“Today we are listed as one of the most corrupt countries on earth.  In other words, if there was an Olympic game on matters on corruption we would perform very well.  In fact, it will be said of us that we are one of the people expected to win the medals. That is not a good thing!” he asserted.

But he believes it is possible to end corruption if all Kenyans would take it as their responsibility to stop it.

He urged Kenyans to develop good ethics that will ensure wealth is acquired honestly and services are delivered without having to bribe for them.

The students from the 47 counties in the country discussed matters of corruption, integration and ethnicity as they interacted with Prof Lumumba who addressed the negativity that has promoted graft and ethnicity.

He urged the students to cultivate in them virtues of living together in peace without discriminating others on account of their background.


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