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Opinion

It’s Time Now Kenya Considered To Disband The Toothless EACC

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The recently resigned EACC Boss Philip Kinisu

The recently resigned EACC Boss Philip Kinisu

Philip Kinisu the immediate former chairman of the EACC has tendered his resignation. The career of yet another distinguished Kenyan has ended in ignominy. How many more careers must Kenya sacrifice to this ogre named the EACC after Mwau, Ringeera, Lumumba, Matemu and now Kinisu? Why does it continuously eat its own children? Should we sacrifice yet another Kenyan or do we hire a foreigner? Or is it time we did away with the EACC altogether!

President Uhuru Kenyatta has on several occasions expressed a sincere desire to fight corruption. Indeed, one of the biggest purges of corruption in government took place on his watch when several Cabinet and Principal Secretaries were fired and charged with corruption-related offences in courts of law. This was perhaps the most courageous move taken by any leader in independent Kenya. It ruffled a lot of political feathers, especially within the Jubilee coalition. The trail on official corruption however has since gone cold. Opposition sceptics now say it was a ploy to hood-wink US President Barrack Obama and Pope Francis, both of whom instructively spoke strongly against corruption during their State visits.

In taking the bull of official corruption by the horns President Kenyatta was knowingly and willingly swimming against the tide. Official corruption in Kenya is so endemic that it is graduating to being systemic. Corruption cartels often influence government tenders through powerful point-men in the political sphere. It is the proceeds of corruption, that for the most part, oil and grease the political system. There is therefore a symbiotic relationship between politics and corruption in Kenya. That is why in the past it was traditional to have a corruption mega-scam like Goldenberg and Anglo Leasing after every general election to recoup funds spent in the election campaigns.

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It is a credit to the Jubilee leadership that they have not followed that course. A one-man war against corruption in Kenya was bound to invariably run into powerful headwinds due to the multiple convergent interests. It becomes even more difficult when that person is a politician seeking re-election. Hopefully we expect a more robust assault on corruption during the Presidents second and final term.

Meanwhile, we must honestly address the issue of the suitability of the EACC as it clearly isn’t functioning. The hiring and f iring of EACC chairpersons has become our favourite game of musical chairs despite it being a bottomless pit for public funds! It has become a graveyard of broken careers and will no longer be taken seriously by qualified professionals.

It has been said that Kenyans are not committed to the war on corruption and EACC appointments are merely windowdressing for the outside world. The joke now is that the person who will serve longest on the EACC chair is he/she who does absolutely nothing save reading the daily newspapers and collecting a monthly salary.

The job description is inaction. That is because any action may step on the toes of the powerful who will initiate action in Parliament or elsewhere for removal from office. This should inform us that even a foreigner would be unsuitable. T he remaining option is to abolish the office of the EACC when the constitution is next amended.

It has failed and currently only serves to drain public resources. They have not secured a single conviction of the “big fish “since the formation of the Kenya Anti-Corruption Commission in 1997. All their efforts have been directed mainly towards incidental or petty corruption against junior public officials.-Daudi Mwenda.

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Kenya West is a trained investigative independent journalist and a socio-political commentator on matters Kenya and Africa. Do you have a story, Scandal you want me to write on? Send me tips to [in.kenyawest@protonmail.com]

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