, NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 27 – The Coalition for Reforms and Democracy (CORD) is accusing the presidency of using the Ethics and Ant-Corruption Commission to fight its political wars.
A statement by CORD leader Raila Odinga read by Busia Women Representative Florence Mutua said EACC had failed to maintain its independence and was a puppet of the government and challenged President Uhuru Kenyatta “to choose between playing politics with corruption and fighting it.”
“In the President’s speech we see the clearest confirmation of what we have always suspected, that the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission is a confused and compromised institution that can no longer be trusted to fight corruption. It is instead being used to fight and fix opponents and supposed enemies of the Jubilee coalition,” said Mutua.
CORD claimed that the President omitted the names of his close allies and instead replaced them with those of individuals who were perceived to be enemies of the State and those seen not to be towing the party line.
“There are clear omissions in the President’s side, omissions we believe are deliberate, calculated and cleared from the very top level of his administration.”
They questioned the independence of the EACC stating that the fact they submitted the purported list of persons being investigated to the President instead of the Director of Public Prosecutions was wrong.
“We are talking about the same EACC that is at war with itself, where juniors have demanded the sacking of their boss, the chairman Mumo Matemu. That demand was delivered to the wrong person, the President should stay away from EACC,” CORD protested.
The coalition added that the infighting within the corruption watchdog itself showed that it was not a stable institution.
They took issue with the fact that some of the corruption cases which have been in the public domain had been ignored citing the ‘chickengate’ scandal involving members of the now defunct Interim Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IIEC)and the Anglo Leasing scandal.
They were also angered by the fact that individuals were now paying for the ‘sins’ of others as in the case of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) and the Agriculture Committee which are currently being investigated.
The report on the Namwamba-led PAC is expected to be out next week.
“We want the Presidency to fight the corruption that he has agreed is pervasive. The war must begin with its own court and must bring down some of the very people who sit in counsel with him only to go out and grab public land, import maize and sugar that cripples the efforts of farmers,” they added.