NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 5 – Former Anglican Church of Kenya (ACK) Archbishop Eliud Wabukala has promised to deal decisively with corruption should his nomination to the position of the Chairperson of the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) be approved by the National Assembly.
Appearing before the Justice and Legal Affairs Committee (JLAC) of the National Assembly for approval hearings on Thursday morning, Archbishop Wabukala assured the legislators vetting him that he will not be lenient while discharging his mandate basically because he has been serving in the church.
“If I am serving government to punish evil, I am doing a divine job,” Wabukala told the Samuel Chepkonga-led committee. “Grace is not cheap! There’s this false notion among the faithful that when you forgive it’s just done without looking at what the mistake was.”
According to Wabukala, the nation needs to purge its conscience if the war against graft is to be won, something he said could only happen if the nation learns to punish the corrupt without compromising.
“Anybody in this country who engages in corruption is actually offending God and government has a right to inflict punishment on that person.”
The nominee for Chairperson of the EACC also dismissed claims that he had failed to weed out corruption during his 12-year stint at the National Anti-Corruption Steering Committee (NACSC), saying he delivered on his mandate despite budgetary constraints.
Archbishop Wabukala cited the limited budgetary allocations as a major impediment towards the work of the committee which was mainly focused on conducting campaigns geared towards inculcating positive behaviour change among Kenyans, with the ultimate goal of winning the war on graft.
” I have been in this (NACSC) for 12 years… yes, the committee was given very little budget; sometimes we operated a budget of Sh36 million to do a national campaign,” Wabukala said adding that committee members were often forced to go without allowances owing to inadequate funding.
The former ACK leader was nominated by President Uhuru Kenyatta to fill the position of the EACC Chairperson after it fell vacant following the resignation of Philip Kinisu after it was alleged that a company he owns – Esaki Limited – was involved in the infamous National Youth Service (NYS) scam which led to the loss of close to Sh2 billion in irregular tenders.
Wabukala’s name will be tabled at the National Assembly on January 17 for consideration when the committee presents a report on his suitability or otherwise to the House.