Friday, July 18, 2008



Published on 18/07/2008
By Standard team

Vice-President Kalonzo Musyoka opened another front in the debate on corruption, a day after the Prime Minister Raila Odinga tore into the Government for lack of commitment to fighting the vice.

The VP attacked the Kenya Anti-Corruption Commission (Kacc) for being docile even as President Kibaki met the Cabinet and ordered a collective onslaught on graft.

Kalonzo took on the Kacc boss, Justice Aaron Ringera, saying he and his commissioners were highly paid and had no reason not to be effective in the fight against corruption.

He told the anti-graft body to stop complaining of lacking teeth to prosecute ‘big fish’ implicated in corruption, leaving the responsibility solely on the Attorney-General Amos Wako’s office.

Kalonzo said on Thursday Kacc should go beyond “beautifully crafted reports and holding workshops in fancy venues” and carry out its cardinal duty.

“You should shout loud if someone is derailing your work and certainly the public will support you,” said the VP during the closure of the third National Integrity Review Conference at the Bomas of Kenya.

He spoke after attending the Cabinet meeting where the war on corruption topped the agenda.

The Cabinet had not met for over three weeks after its scheduled meetings were called off two weeks ago following divisions over former Finance Minister Amos Kimunya and the controversial sale of the Grand Regency Hotel.

Sources close to the Cabinet meeting said Kibaki insisted that corruption has to be fought at all costs and by all leaders. Sources also said the Cabinet discussed unity of ministers, the Mau forest controversy and other routine affairs of every ministry.

The Kimunya issue is said to have featured as President Kibaki, who chaired the meeting, told ministers to work as a team and avoid divisions along political party lines.


Prime Minister Raila Odinga is said to have told ministers to lead from the front in their respective dockets.

At Bomas, Kalonzo roasted Kacc saying: “Kacc should be bold just like Parliament to have the authority to say openly that an individual should vacate office if implicated in graft to pave way for investigation.”

The Cabinet met against a backdrop of rising disquiet over corruption that has threatened to tear the fragile Grand Coalition Government.

On Wednesday, both Raila and Karua tore into the anti-corruption policy of the very Government they serve.

Raila cited lack of political will in fighting graft, while Karua attacked the Executive, accusing it of failing to live to its promises.

Elsewhere, a grim picture on the fight against graft was painted on Thursday in a Transparency International (TI) Bribery Index, which stated corruption is still rife in both public and private institutions.

Many Kenyans are paying more bribes in exchange for service, TI said.

TI’s Global Corruption Barometer 2008 showed that Kenyans are frequently asked to pay bribes to gain access to services such as education and healthcare.

The report said the Kenya Revenue Authority had joined the top ten most notorious public institutions in the bribery Index.

And separately, Kenya is among 58 countries being investigated by Global Integrity (GI) for massive corruption.