, NAKURU, Kenya, May 27 – A section of Members of Parliament have said it is time some financial institutions were investigated and held to account over collusion with individuals in the run away corruption in the country.
The MPs said there is no way abnormally large amounts of money can be deposited or withdrawn from an individual’s account without the banks asking hard questions.
Those who asked for action to be taken against bank officials are Susan Kihika (Senator, Nakuru County), Kimani Ichung’wa (Kikuyu), David Gikaria (Nakuru Town East), Kimani Ngunjiri (Bahati), Daniel Tuitoek (Mogotio), Charity Kathambi Chepkwony (Njoro), Lemanken Aramat (Narok East), Samuel Arama (Nakuru Town West) and Nakuru Woman Representative Liza Chelule.
The MPs were speaking during a church service at St Peters Catholic Church Lanet in Nakuru County on Sunday, in the presence of Deputy President William Ruto.
Senator Kihika said it was difficult for even businesses to transact in huge amounts without being asked questions.
She wondered how corruption cartels managed to transact in hundreds of millions of shillings easily.
“These banks appear to be friends of corruption, and tough penalties must be meted against them,” said Mr Gikaria.
Gikaria said commercial banks found to be embedded and aiding corruption should have their licenses cancelled.
“We cannot attain the Big Four Agenda if the theft of public resources continue.
It is time serious, swift action was taken against these thieves. This time around it won’t be business as usual,” said Ms Kihika.
Mr Aramat said there was need for the judiciary to support the executive and the legislature in the fight against corruption.
Past experience, he added, of suspects walking freely after stealing millions of shillings was the reason Kenya is still crippled with corruption.
The MPs said that they would not be intimidated in playing their oversight role, especially now that the country had been stained by corruption issues.
They said a cartel is using the fight against corruption to malign others, adding that the intention of the cartel is to muddy the waters thereby defeating the fight against corruption.
Mr Ichungwa said there were efforts by some “cartels” and “merchants” who were hell-bent to intimidating anti-corruption MPs.
“A thief is a thief. Whether in government or in opposition. Whether big or small. The National Assembly shall not be cowed by cartels and merchants of deceit. It will continue to hold those in power accountable. These thieves must be jailed,” said Ichungwa.
Arama regretted that some of the members of the judiciary were frustrating the fight against corruption.
“Some of these courts have become part of the corruption network in Kenya by offering bailouts and lenient penalties to corruption suspects. This must be checked,” he said.
Ruto said the government will not allow the progress made in the last five years to go down the drains because of the few individuals.
The Deputy President called on all institutions responsible to play their rightful roles in the fight against corruption, noting that the corrupt will carry their own cross.
“The corrupt should not run to their communities or political parties for protection. We will not sacrifice the progress of Kenya to satisfy the greed of few individuals. This time around they will not get off the hook. They will be held accountable,” said the Deputy President.
He added that if laws must be changed, or strategies reviewed, it shall be done “until the menace of corruption is arrested once and for all”.