NAIROBI, Kenya, Jun 9 – Governors exploiting the COVID-19 pandemic to advance their political agenda by branding donations financed through public funds have been put on notice, the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission warning against the emerging trend ahead of the 2022 elections.
In a letter to the Council of Governors (CoG), the anti-graft body on Tuesday said the practice is against leadership integrity provisions since such bills are footed by the taxpayers.
In the letter, EACC CEO Twalib Mbarak noted with concern some governors had gone to the extent of branding sanitizers with their photos, in a bid to create the impression the interventions by county governments or other donors are their personal donations, in response to COVID-19.
“We request that your office circulates this Advisory to all County Governments for noting and compliance,” Mbarak said in the letter addressed to Jacqueline Mogeni, CoG’s Chief Executive Officer.
The letter is also copied to Governor Wycliffe Oparanya, CoG Chairperson.
Mbarak said the commission will closely monitor the adherence, by county chiefs, to the advisory, in a bid to ensure there’s accountability and transparency, in how public resources are utilized.
“The commission looks forward to continued synergy with the Council of Governors in order to enhance transparency and accountability in the management of public affairs in the Counties,” the anti-graft body boss said.
Nyeri Governor Mutahi Kahiga is among county chiefs who have branded donations in recent months attracting public outcry by constituents and opponents alike.
Many of the residents and political leaders accused Kahiga of making political capital out of a donation from Kibos Sugar Company at the time when county is battling COVID-19.
Cases of leaders branding donations is almost a norm in the country mostly during campaigns when politicians embark on community initiatives mostly targeting the youths in a bid to appeal to voters.