NAIROBI, Kenya, Jun 6 – The Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) has blamed the Judiciary and the existence of weak legal systems for its woes in the fight against corruption in the country.
EACC Chairman Eliud Wabukala has said the commission more often than not is tied because of lack of good will from the Judiciary in expediting cases taken to the courts.
Appearing before the Senate Justice and Legal Affairs Committee on Wednesday, Wabukala told members that talk of disbanding the commission are ill-advised and instead urged the Judiciary to help in dispensing with cases fast.
“The idea of doing away with the commission is wrong. What those fronting the idea of disbanding the commission should be doing is strengthening the commission rather than destroying it,” said Wabukala.
He noted that the commission since 2013 is still yet to conclude criminal cases totalling to 312 with the cases still pending in court.
In 2018 alone, Wabukala said that out of the 34 cases which have been concluded, 30 were convictions while four are acquittals.
Wabukala attributed the lack of capacity of special anti-corruption magistrates who handle corruption related cases.
“There are only two judges appointed to the Anti-Corruption and Economic Crimes Division of the High Court. In addition, the judges and magistrates dealing with corruption cases are also allocated other cases as well. There are also frequent transfers in between the hearing of the cases,” he said.
Despite the sluggish process, Wabukala said that the commission was investigating the corruption scandals that have rocked the country.
10 Governors are among those the commission said they are facing serious criminal offences in regards to embezzling public funds.
Makueni Senator Mutula Kilonzo Jnr criticized the anti graft body for doing little to exert their authority saying the Executive had also sidelined the commission in the war against graft.
“The commission is quick in recommending prosecutions for small time offenders caught engaging in bribery with little money involved but the big fish are left scot free. The President introduced the idea of using lie detectors yet we have never heard such thing being raised by the commission,” said Kilonzo.
In his Madaraka Day celebrations speech President Uhuru Kenyatta failed to laud the commission effort and input in the recent corruption related cases in the country.
Kilonzo said the omission by the President reflected the people’s perception about the commission inability to recommend prosecutions for high profile individuals.
“The commission is allocated a lot of funds but since its inception nothing much has been able to be achieved. Kenyans are yet to see the commission discharge its duties as required,” he said.
Busia Senator Amos Wako also raised concerns why the commission was conspicuously missing in the ongoing probe on the National Youth Service (NYS) and other high profile cases in the country.
“EACC is only quick in acting on petty corruption offences yet when they are needed to show up and act on those that matter the commission is nowhere to be seen,” said Wako.
Wako slammed the commission for only being good at staging public relation stunts when handling cases.
“We always see the commission raiding homes of graft suspects but that is only as far as it can get, Kenyans are tired,” said Wako.