ACTIONS; NOT WORDS: A RESPONSE TO THE PRESIDENTâ€™S ANTI-CORRUPTION PLAN:
Let us begin by joining all Catholic faithful in welcoming the Pope to our country beginning tomorrow.
We also want to thank President Uhuru Kenyatta for declaring Thursday as a public holiday and dedicating to reflection, prayers and reconciliation.
The President spoke yesterday and laid out his plans for fighting corruption, which Kenyans across the divide now agree, is a national tragedy.
We congratulate the President for finally waking up to the reality and reporting to duty to confront what he and his administration have long refused to see.
But that is as far as our congratulations go. Otherwise, we disagree with virtually every measure the President out lined.
Mr. President, Kenyans want action on corruption, not words and more directives.
A number of acts of grand corruption have been committed in very recent months and days. Concrete action on these will send the signals to Kenyans, investors and the corrupt themselves that the game and the times have changed.
We demand that the government gets to the roots of these corrupt actions, assigns responsibility and recover what was looted at the expense of the looters.
Mr. President, the Sh289 billion ($2.75 billion) Eurobond that was floated by the Government on the Irish Stock Exchange has gone missing. You seem to be the only one who believes that this money could have been pumped into the economy and Kenyans still fail to notice.
Why was this money banked in an offshore account and not a Consolidated Account as required by law? Who takes responsibility for this breach of the law? Who were the signatories to this offshore account? How much interest did this money earn and where is that interest? What were the proceeds of Euro Bond spent on here in Kenya?
There has been some explanation that some of this money, which was solely meant for infrastructure development, was given to the Ministries of Devolution and Planning.
At what stage did Devolution and Planning get involved in infrastructure development and which are the projects they implemented?
Mr. President, that a government can borrow money in the name of the people of Kenya and fail to account for it is as corrupt an action as any can be. It is an economic crime. It borders on treason.
It is enough to get the Cabinet Secretary for Treasury and the Principal Secretary out of office. In fact, we demand that Treasury Cabinet Secretary and the Principal Secretary follow suit and resign to pave way for independent investigations into Euro Bond, followed by action that suits the crime.
Mr. President, we disagree, strongly, with your belief that Kenya needs more laws and more institutions to fight corruption. We have enough of those.
Article 10 of our Constitution has express and clear provisions on National Values and Principles of Governance.
Article 232 sets out Values and Principles of Public Service.
Chapter Six of the Constitution spells out clear provisions on Leadership and Integrity.
In addition to these, Kenya has at least twelve laws dedicated to the fight against corruption. They include:
1. Ethics and Anti-corruption Commission Act
2. Commission for Administrative Justice Act
3. Public Finance Management Act
4. Leadership and Integrity Act
5. Fair Administrative Action Act
6. Public Service (Values and Principles) Act
7. Public Procurement and Disposal Act
8. Public Officers Ethics Act
9. Proceeds of Crime and Anti-Money Laundering Act
10. Witness Protection Act
11. State Corporation Act
12. Penal Code
We have at least nine entities and institutions dedicated to fighting corruption. They include:
1. Criminal Investigation Department
2. Director of Public Prosecution
3. Public Procurement Oversight Authority
4. Independent Policing Oversight Authority
5. Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission
6. National Anti-Corruption Campaign Steering Committee
7. Controller of Budget
8. National Audit Office
9. The Commission on Administrative Justice.
Singapore, which is judged to be the least corrupt country in the world, has only one law to fight the vice; the Prevention of Corruption Act (Chapter 241).
Locally, the Jubilee Government has made a spirited effort at undermining institutions and using its numbers in Parliament to amend laws that were meant to champion and strengthen the war on corruption.
What we need is to make the institutions, laws and regulations that we have work. What we need is a President that is committed to winning the war against corruption. With every day that passes, President Uhuru Kenyatta is sending to us the message that he is not that president.
Nearly all our institutions meant to fight corruption are plagued by tribalism, which only perpetuate the vice. That is why a critical body like the Public Private Partnership Petition Committee in Kenya gazette (4th July 2014) has members from just two communities:
James Murtha Kihara- Chairperson
Stanley Kinuthia Kamau
Isaac Kiptanui Bondet
Jackline Chepkemoi Kimeto
This is contrary to our constitution and was only done in order to influences decisions to favour interests of the Presidency.
Lawyer Paul Gicheru, the Chairman of the Public procurement appeals board. He continues to be despite the fact that on 10th September 2015, the international Criminal Court unsealed a warrant against him. The arrest warrant was initially issued sealed on 10th March 2015.
We donâ€™t need new laws to correct this. We need respect for the laws already in place.
Yesterday, the President created the Office of Management and Budget to be part of the Presidency-another layer and another institution meant to strengthen the presidency and weaken existing legal ones.
We have the information that Anne Waiguru, who was recently quoted as asking to be given light duties, is destined to be appointed to head that office. She will be de facto Treasury boss and head of civil service.
Waiguru is yet to be cleared of corruption allegations, now she is poised to head the country’s entire budget allocation; as a light duty.
The creation of that office defies the Constitutional provision that the National Treasury prepares the Budget and CS submits it before the National Assembly.
Mr. President, one third of the Cabinet is currently embroiled in corruption scandals.
As Opposition, we have enough material to put into question the integrity of at least another 1/3rd of the Cabinet Secretaries.
Our position therefore is that the government as currently constituted is dysfunctional.
The time has come for the president to dissolve the Cabinet and appoint a new and subject any persons retained from the former Cabinet to a fresh round of Parliamentary vetting.Last Sunday, the Cabinet Secretary for Devolution Ms Anne Waiguru resigned. It is not enough. The government must subject the NYS and the IFMIS projects to an independent audit for all expenditures entered into since April 2014.
The Government must also subject all major expenditures entered into by this administration to independent audit, including the Galana irrigation scheme. Action, not words.
The government must also put in place a credible mechanism to conduct Lifestyle audits of all State Officers and senior Public Officers.
The government must identify all public offices that are hotspots for high level corruption, particularly every State Office and public officers heading department in procurement, accounts and audit. All the holders of those offices must be placed under continuous surveillance of their financial transactions and that of their families.
We long questioned how some public officers are able to raise and spend Sh10 million on harambees every week, yet their salaries and businesses are known.
We demand action and answers.
Action, not words, Mr. President.