NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 25 – Attorney General Paul Kihara has been directed to publish a Bill that will lock all civil servants out of private business to tackle the crisis of conflict of interest blamed for fuelling corruption.
The order was issued by President Uhuru Kenyatta at the just concluded two-day Anti-Corruption Conference at the Bomas of Kenya.
In giving the order, President Kenyatta said the Bill will eliminate a conflict of interest for instance by senior traffic police officers who could pretend to enforce law and order by arresting traffic offenders, while at the same running a ‘matatu’ or public service transport business.
“Going forward, parastatal chiefs should not be in a position to use their offices to advance their private businesses, so if it is police officers you have to decide whether you want to be a matatu owner; which is not bad but if you do so then put the uniform aside because you cannot police yourself,” said Kenyatta.
Members of Parliament were also put on the spot as President Kenyatta stated that they will have to make a choice which profession to serve.
“With all due respect to the Members of Parliament including Senators, they should no longer be able to use committee powers to demand information from public officers and then utilize that information in their own pursuit. State and public officers will have a simple choice; serve in the public arena or go and do private business,’’ Kenyatta said.
Participants who attended the conference had earlier asked the President to revoke a recommendation contained in the 1971 Duncan Ndegwa Commission Report, which made it possible for all civil servants to run private businesses on the side.