NAIROBI, Kenya, Dec 14 -The Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) Chief Executive Officer nominee Twalib Abdallah Mbarak has said if approved, he will bring with him zeal to change the perception that the agency is ineffective, adding that he can handle the challenges that come with the job.
Mbarak told an approval sitting conducted by the National Assembly Justice and Legal Affairs Committee led by Baringo North MP William Cheptumo that once approved, his term will see the Commission develop and implement a framework for asset tracing and asset recovery.
“Now that I am 53, the issue of fear is now running down. I know the setback, I know the honeymoon will be very short and I know that I am going to be hit hard but I think I have enough shocks to take the pressure.”
“I know it is a very hot seat but with my growth and passion I want to realise something new and deliver,” he said as he shrugged off attempts by MPs to corner him into giving a commitment of his immediate priorities within the first 100 days in office.
He outlined utilising technology to curb corruption, streamlining of investigative circles and collaboration with the Asset Recovery Agency to ensure stolen assets are recovered as being his four point agenda when he takes over.
Mbarak says devolution is an area where there is a lot of corruption, and leakages are prevalent; there must be a proactive approach to identifying corruption in counties.
The retired army major broke down as he tried to narrate to the Parliamentary approval panel the experiences of his 91-year-old mother who was orphaned at the age of 16 and married at a tender age.
He had earlier told the Committee that his mother played a critical in shaping him and instilling the integrity he upholds today.
The Security and Integrity Manager at the Kenya Electricity Generating company listed ‘being too military’ and systematic as among his weakness.
“But I want to assure Kenyans that I have been ‘re-socialised’ from the military ways and will not militarise the EACC,” he said.
Mbarak who beat 13 other shortlisted applicants to clinch the risk job pledged to ensure that the war on corruption is won, promising to deal decisively with both high impact and low impact cases.
Twalib vowed that he will fight off any attempts to influence or interfere with his work or the work of the Commission in executing their mandate.
“The view that there is a high office that controls the commission will not exist during my tenure, but if such calls comes from the high office and its likely to compromise my work, I will tell them that I would rather go back to Kilifi where I have a beautiful house overlooking the creek and live there rather than to betray the trust that the Kenya have placed in me.”
” I will be fair to all citizens,” he stated.
After Friday’s sitting, the committee is expected to retreat to write its report in readiness for next week’s Tuesday’s House Special Sitting where MPs will vote on Mbarak’s suitability to assume the office.
If MPs approve his nomination Mbarak will take over from Halakhe Waqo who is set to leave the Commission after serving his six-year term which began on January 21, 2013.