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BY NAMULONGO PETER,NAIROBI,9TH DEC 2017-Kenya has joined the rest of the world in Marking international day against corruption observed on 9th December each year.
The country reflects on the steps taken towards fighting the vice that has threatened to tear a part the fabric of the economy.
Kenya however still has along way to go in the war against graft.According to the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) Chairman Eliud Wabukala the country must put together all necessary synergies aimed at eradicating the vice if war on graft will bear fruit.Wabukala termed failure to constitute the commision properly earlier as one of the major challenges that have faced the commission in discharging its duties in the last five years.
Addressing the press in an Eldoret hotel on Friday Wbukala said by the time they assumed office earlier in the year there were already high profile graft cases under investigation .while others were in court a move that made it difficult for the commission to track the progress.“What happened is that, when we assumed office early this year, we noticed that there were people who were facing graft cases in court.
“So they went ahead to find a loophole by stating that the commission had not been properly constituted and this is why we decided to partner with the ODPP so that we start looking at these cases afresh because at the moment we have no loopholes in the law,” he explained.
He has denied reports that the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (ODPP) has thrown out 125 graft cases.
Mr Wabukala termed the reports as a “misconception” saying that the commission had only liaised with the ODPP to look afresh at the cases.
“I want to clearly state that there is no case in our jurisdiction that the ODPP has thrown out. This is a joint decision between the two organs that we look afresh at these cases by going through the files one by one and I can assure you that all those found guilty will face the full force of the law,” said Wabukala.
He added that some individuals who cases had related to graft in court before the commission was constituted afresh had found a loophole to evade prosecution.
According to Mr Wabukala, the commission has finalised a total of 33 cases in court and obtained 25 convictions, three acquittals and six discharges.
“We currently have 423 cases that are pending in court with over 900 persons having been charged with various corruption offences as at November 30, 2017,” added Mr Wabukala.
He further said that the commission has preserved assets worth Sh374,881, 583.27 and recovered Sh134,116, 406 in cash after being reconstituted.
Mr Wabukala said that the anti-graft body is currently investigating cases in 26 counties and 10 of them are already in court.
Mr Wabukala, who was accompanied by David Too (Director of Legal Affairs), Gachoka Mwaniki (commissioner) and Willis Wasala (Deputy Director North Rift Region), said that the commission’s Prevention Department had conducted 15 corruption risk assessments in county assemblies.
“Implementation of the EACC’s recommendations is on-going in various counties,” he said.
EACC chair pointed out adverse court rulings, embedded unethical culture in society, cheating and stealing as some of the main challenges facing the fight against corruption in Kenya.
“Glorification of wealth without work, poor role modelling and base values are just some of the challenges we are facing in this noble course of fighting graft,” he said.
This year’s Theme is United against corruption for development, peace and security.