Friday, September 14, 2007

Parliament Kills the Only Hope for Fighting Corruption!

The fight against corruption is tough. Many vested interests attempt to thwart the process at every stage exist, especially during an election year where political powers and individuals try to create alliances with the looters. But when the Parliament kills the only hope for fighting corruption, as it did on 12 September 2007, then the country has lost direction.

By extending blanket amnesty to economic crimes perpetrated prior to 2003 and amending some parts of the legislation establishing the Kenya Anti-corruption Commission (KACC), which gives it powers to investigate those crimes, the parliament dealt a devastating blow to on going and future investigations of Goldenberg, Anglo-leasing and land grabbing cases by the KACC. These corruption scandals involve hundred billions of Kenya shilling stashed in foreign banks abroad. This is public money that could have been used for economic development and alleviating poverty which is prevalent in the country.

Earlier in this blog we had warned that reducing the KACC investigatory powers will be detrimental to the fight against corruption. The KACC has its flaws as regards the fight against corruption as it does not seem to move with the required speed to investigate, apprehend and prosecute those involved in these serious economic crimes. But it is the only body currently equipped and capable to deal with grand corruption investigations. Leaving the matter in the hands of overburdened police to investigate is clear signal that parliament is not interested in pursuing corruption cases.

Let us hope that the President will decline to assent this law and therefore restore the powers of the KACC. The President is the last bastion of hope that the war against corruption will continue as he is on record for having declared zero tolerance to corruption. Parliament, which is composed of some members who are seriously implicated in the grand economic theft, had its own motivation for granting the looters amnesty. The President once again should stand against the Parliament as he did with the Media law.

Lastly but not least, the voters should take cue from parliament and make sure that these selfish lot does not return to the august house. This parliament has tested elector’s patience to the extreme with its egotistic legislations and impunity to public and national interest. They have increased their salaries and other pecks without regard to the poverty and financial hardships faced by majority of the population. To nail it all, they have shown gross contempt to the fight against corruption by granting themselves amnesty. The time to show the corrupt lawmakers the door is now.


walk said...

If ODM is about change how do they explain being part of this vote ,infact according to BBC the opposition were the prime movers

Dr. Stephen Kabera Karanja said...

That is true the opposition ganged up with the corrupt tainted government MPs to pass this abhorrent legislation. I understand that 38 opposition MPs voted for the law against 27 government members against. That shows that the loud mouth on corruption by opposition legislators is but hot air. The corruption cancer seems to have eaten into all levels of the political bodies.