, NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 24 – Attorney General Githu Muigai has reiterated the need for all Kenyans to be involved in the fight against corruption in a bid to root out the vice in society.
Speaking during the inauguration of the National Anti-Corruption Steering Committee on Monday, the AG described it as disheartening that many people look the other way when individuals they know engage in corrupt deals.
Citing the recent corruption during the National Police Service recruitment exercise, Muigai stated that such an attitude makes the fight against corruption difficult and contributes to many plundering public coffers for their own benefit.
“Allegations of corruption in the national recruitment conducted recently by the various disciplined forces do not speak well and serve as a wake-up call to all citizens to re-examine their conscience and decide what is in the best interest of this country. This state of affairs has no room in Kenya today and cannot be tolerated further,” the AG said.
He underscored the need for the government to put the anti-corruption fight top on its agenda.
“The fight against corruption must therefore be a high priority item for this administration and indeed for all the people of Kenya. As the development agenda improves, the living standards and service delivery cannot be achieved unless there is a huge blow against corruption,” he said.
Muigai called on the steering committee members to hit the ground running in the carrying out of their mandate.
“The creation of this committee under my office with a broad mandate to undertake nationwide public education, sensitisation and awareness creation campaigns aimed at changing the attitudes, behavior, practices and culture of Kenyans towards corruption is the most thought out initiatives by the government to address corruption. Although members of the public are the most affected by corruption, they also wield a lot of power, enough to deal corruption a serious blow,” he stated.
He at the same time emphasised the need for the public to be more involved in the drive.
“Inadequate participation by the public in the fight against corruption however is a major setback to the fight that needs to be addressed urgently. Kenyans are tired of corruption and just want to be shown ways of fighting it. The people to do so are none other than yourselves through this committee,” he said.
“Towards this end I suggest that of necessity you must develop innovative campaign strategies and programs practical enough to inspire and mobilize Kenyans into a mass movement against corruption. To ensure that you get started, I would strongly advise that you retreat and come up with a conducive environment to be inducted into the campaign.”
His sentiments were echoed by the Ethics and Anti- Corruption Chairman Mumo Matemu who stated that a lot of benefits which include peace would be gained from a corrupt free society.
“The common Kenyan through his public participation teamed up with the National Anti-Corruption Steering Committee should be able to make a strong front especially in the fight against corruption. We are also looking at the role that we have as a committee in looking at infrastructural development that is taking place,” he said.
“If we guard against corruption but more importantly that now we have a new constitution, now that we have guarded our institution, it is time to open our earth to show us the nature of resource that are lying there so that all these natural resources like, oil, water and others benefit our country as a whole and we have a big role to play.”
The head of the Anglican Church, Archbishop Eliud Wabukala was appointed to chair the National Anti-Corruption Steering Committee.
The Vice Chair of the committee is Rose Arungu-Olende. Outspoken former Kenya National Union of Teachers (KNUT) Secretary general Francis Nganga, SUPKEM Secretary General Adan Wachu and Bishop Joseph Kanuka are members.
Others are Shashikant Raval, Rhoda Thairu, Hassan Ali, John Muriithi, Kimaiyo Sego, Kamla Sikand, Mohamed Hillow, Sophia Lepuchirit, Lucas Mboya, Dabar Maalim, Joy Asiema, Ibrahim Omondi, Fatma Awale and Alex Kyule.