, NAIROBI, Kenya, Dec 6 – Public Service Minister Dalmas Otieno has challenged the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) to focus its energies on programmes that will discourage corruption.
Otieno said the commission should not concentrate all its effort investigating past crimes like its predecessor, the Kenya Anti Corruption Commission.
“We are wasting a lot of resources chasing Goldenberg and Anglo Leasing (scandals). Focus your thinking… direct your creativity and bring out your innovations in a way that will prevent corruption before it happens,” he challenged EACC.
He pointed out that part of the commission’s mandate is to prevent economic crimes through the promotion and development of good practices to seal corruption loop holes.
The minister was speaking at the launch of an integrity workbook by The Ethics and Integrity Institute (TEII).
Professor Paul Achola, one of the authors, said the workbook was prompted by national dialogue on the subject of ethics and integrity and aims to move the debate forward from rhetoric to practice.
“Our goal in mainsteaming ethics is to support organisations move their codes of conduct from paper to practice in order to develop competent integrity professionals who can be relied upon to establish structures and strategies of promoting moral conduct of business,” he said.
TEII Chief Executive Officer, Jackline Nyandeje lauded the progress the EACC had made so far in the fight against corruption but pointed out the terms ethics and integrity need to be broken down into measurable goals.
“While the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission has made tremendous achievements in capacity development and target setting for corruption prevention, minimum professional requirements and roles of integrity officers need to be well-known,” he said.
The setting up of the EACC was dogged by controversy with Parliament being accused of watering down the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Act (Bill then) by stripping the body of prosecutorial powers.
The appointment of its commissioners was not without its challenges either with the Justice and Legal Affairs Committee asking Members of Parliament to reject the nomination of Mumo Matemu as the anti-graft body’s chair as well as that of the vice chairperson nominee Irene Keino and commissioner Jane Onsongo saying they “lacked the passion” to lead the war against corruption.
The launch was also attended by James McFie the Academic and Research Director of Strathmore University, a recipient of the Moran of the Order of the Burning Spear from President Kibaki and a director of TEII, the Standard and Sasini Groups.
McFie warned that unless action is taken to curb corruption, the Vision 2030 goals would be unattainable.
“Vision 2030 makes wonderful reading. Kenya is going to be this… Kenya’s going to be that, Kenya’s going to be the other thing. If we want Kenya to change, this change is not going to be brought about by Vision 2030. Let us realise that we have to change each one of us individually,” he argued.
Course delivery based on the workbook will start in February 2013 at the Ethics and Integrity Institute.