The war on graft and sleaze has flopped, this was the weekend message by CORD leader Raila Odinga over President Uhuru’s much-hyped ‘list of shame’ deadline.
While Odinga had poured cold water on the President’s stunt to annexture a list of 175 individuals EACC was investigating to parliament, and subsequently give 60 day ultimatum for all the culprits to be apprehended, the failure to achieve the deadline has vindicated the ODM leader who all along maintained the President was engaging the country in a PR stunt.
Raila claimed the high priests of corruption were well-known to the government and that the forced resignation of the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commissionâ€™s top commissioners â€œat the very time they were required to provide leadership and guidance in the fight against corruption is highly suspectâ€.
â€œYou cannot be fighting corruption and at the same time forcing the commissioners out of office. The President must bite the bullet and take the necessary steps to salvage this country from the bondage of corruption,â€ said Odinga.
After his State of the Nation address on March 26, President Kenyatta presented to a joint sitting of the National Assembly and the Senate a list of 175 individuals, including Cabinet Secretaries, suspected to be involved in corruption and ordered the EACC to conclude investigations within 60 days.
However, with the deadline ending today, Raila said that nothing had been done of the much-hyped delivery other than the back-and-forth movement of files between the EACC and the Director of Public Prosecutions.
â€œUhuru promised Kenyans to have the matter dealt with in two months, but we have not seen anything happening! Those who have been linked to every scandal on earth continue to enjoy their freedom as the country chokes under this weight. The President knows his job very well and I cannot purport to tell him what to do,â€ Raila said.
â€œThe EACC, if it still exists, should come out and tell Kenyans what it is doing. You donâ€™t go quiet when the deadline has come.â€
Attorney General Githu Muigai and Constitutional Implementation Commission chairman Charles Nyachae have openly differed on whether the EACC, without the commissioners, is properly in place, with the latter saying it cannot function.
On May 22, DPP Keriako Tobiko, through a joint press statement with the EACC, announced that only 18 files of the 175 cases had been forwarded to his office with specific directions to either prosecute or close.
The files include those of suspects who have already been charged in court, but, interestingly, those affecting Cabinet Secretaries Davis Chirchir (Energy), Charity Ngilu (Lands), Kazungu Kambi (Labour), Michael Kamau (Transport) and Felix Koskei (Agriculture) have yet to be concluded.
The commission has also yet to conclude investigations into the Sh2.5 billion 134-acre Karen land that is at the centre of a leadership row and has also sucked in senior officials in the Jubilee administration.
Investigations into the alleged grabbing of Langâ€™ata Road Primary School land early this year that was linked to a hotel allegedly owned by Deputy President William Ruto have also yet to be included.
Raila also accused the government of undermining devolution by constantly frustrating increases in allocations to the county governments.
He observed that devolution, if properly implemented, can address the historical injustices that have bred insecurity, poverty, ethnic divisions and corruption. This month alone, over 300 people have been killed by suspected bandits in Turkana, Pokot and Samburu.
Raila said that the serious challenges affecting the country are the reason Cord, which also includes former VP Kalonzo Musyoka and Bungoma Senator Moses Wetangâ€™ula, had come up with the Okoa Kenya Bill to address the issues the Jubilee government had failed to handle.
â€œOkoa Kenya means well for this country. It is not meant to undermine the government of the day. This should be made clear to those of a contrary opinion,â€ he clarified.