NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 13 – The Law Society of Kenya (LSK) says the Ethics and Anti-corruption Commission (EACC) and the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) should obtain documents detailing the ‘chicken gate’ scandal investigations from the UK courts and use them to bring those who received corrupt payments in the country to book.
Speaking during a tour of the Milimani Law Courts by Chief Justice Willy Mutunga, Chairman Eric Mutua stated that the information on the fiasco should not be ignored but be used to bolster the probe of the individuals named.
Two executives of British firm Smith and Ouzman Ltd were sentenced to a total of five years after being convicted for making corrupt payments in individuals in various countries including Kenya to win business for the company.
“Probably the starting point is … to obtain the relevant proceedings and the decision from the court to be able to find what is the correlation between the evidence which was tendered in the UK court and what they have in their investigations because I understand that they are still conducting theirs,” Mutua said.
Mutua explained that this is the only way to ensure that integrity is maintained in all government institutions.
“I believe if indeed there is evidence from the UK court to the effect that these monies were paid to the persons who have been mentioned as bribes, then definitely there is a case that can be made out against those persons and I believe that prosecutions should be done,” he stated.
His sentiments were echoed by Narc Kenya Leader Martha Karua who emphasised the need for all institutions to uphold high standards.
“It is really very shameful the way we are trying to ignore this issue. IEBC is one of the critical institutions supporting democracy in this country. I am happy that they have a new CEO and I want to tell him that we wish him well and tell him that even a single person in an institution can make a difference. The position he holds is very important,” she indicated.
Karua called on the new IEBC Chief Executive Officer Ezra Simiyu to do his best to revolutionalise the Commission in a bid to bring about change.
“After all he is the Chief Executive. How can we ignore the evidence that has convicted in a commonwealth system which is our judicial system and you know whenever we have problems in Kenya, the government is always inviting Scotland Yard. How come we are now ignoring that evidence and do we intend to sweep it under our feet?” she posed.
She strongly advocated for the government to take action on this and other similar issues.
“We need to act on these matters now, from chicken gate to conclusively acting on the land grabbing saga, not only in Karen, Lang’ata and the various public institutions. It should never appear like its is a field day for thugs in Kenya at this point in time. It should be made very expensive to break the law in this country.”
A London court found two executives of Smith and Ouzman Ltd guilty of paying out bribes dubbed ‘chicken’ to Kenyan electoral and examinations executives.
The Southwark Crown Court convicted the former chairman of the firm Christopher Smith, and his son Nick Smith of making payments totaling Sh50 million to win printing contracts at Kenya National Examinations Council (KNEC) and the defunct Interim Independent Electoral Commission (IIEC).
Bribes to public officials in Kenya, Ghana, Mauritania, and Somali amounted to 780,000 dollars and the offenses occurred between November 2006 and December 2010.