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Kenyans’ mixed reactions after Nairobi is picked to host regional anti-graft body

Kenya may be the only country in Africa where corruption dominates most of the national dialogue conversations with little effort to stamp the deep graft.

Kenya is ranked 123 out of 180 countries worldwide in corruption, according to the February 2023 Corruption Perception Index (CPI) report by Transparency International.

Kenya at 60 is still grappling with claims of corruption at its distinct branches: The Legislature (Parliament), the Executive, and the Judiciary almost daily.

It is only in Kenya that the President will openly make serious allegations of corruption against one arm of the government without independent institutions like the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) moving into action.

As the high level of impunity continues this has seen the confidence of millions of Kenyans wallowing in poverty due to runaway corruption increase.

To many Kenyans the advent of devolution since the 2010 Constitution established the structure of the Kenyan government, which includes national and county government there is not much to celebrate.

Interestingly, against this background Kenya has been selected to host a key regional anti-corruption body namely the Centre for Anti-Corruption Studies and Research in Africa, to be set up by the African Association of Anti-Corruption Authorities (AAACA).

The decision was arrived at by a resolution of the General Assembly of AAACA during its virtual Extraordinary Meeting held on January 10.

Kenyans on social media had mixed feelings about the country hosting the Centre for Anti-Corruption Studies and Research in Africa.

“Research data will be overwhelming and plenty,” said Mr James Oindo referring to the increased cases of corruption in the country.

“There is enough data here for them to study. They have made an excellent choice,” said Mr Kachwanya.

“Kenya has been a subject of interest to many scholars studying corruption globally. It is often used as a case study due to challenges it has faced in managing public resources effectively,” said Bishop of Hope.

He added: “Unfortunately corruption has been pervasive across all the three arms of government. Kenya needs to prioritise measures aimed at curbing corruption and ensuring transparency.”

“Only independent constitutional bodies like EACC are the weakest link. Why can’t you arrest even one CS or PS,” said Mr Barsitei Boit.

“Unless those who are studying want to be grand corruption masters, I see no other reason for hosting such a centre in a country where only junior police officers and junior county officials are arrested while real beneficiaries are left to enjoy the loot as the rest of Kenyans suffer,” said Mr Rambo Kanambo.

“If you want to learn about corruption, come to Kenya where a President complains about corruption day in and day out yet we have an anti-corruption institution,” lamented James.

EACC chief executive officer Twalib Mbarak said that the centre will play an important role in facilitating the development and harmonisation of strategies for the prevention, detection, investigation, and control of corruption and related offenses in Africa.

Mr Mbarak’s remarks come at a time when scores of prominent Kenyans being acquitted by courts is growing.

Cases of mega corruption collapsing at the corridors of justice are the order of the day according to the Kenya Human Rights Commission.

The controversial collapse of the Arror and Kimwarer case that cost the country Sh63 billion and the dropping of multi-million fraud cases against top politicians points to the Office of Director of Public Prosecution (ODPP) capture and incompetence.

“The collapse of the Arror and Kimwarer case confirms the ODPP is politically captured and part of a conspiracy to defeat justice,” said the Kenya National Human Rights Commission in a statement.

Since President William Ruto took power in September 2022, scores of court cases involving politicians, businesspeople, and former State corporation executives have collapsed or ended in acquittals.

fmureithi@ke.nationmedia.com

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