More synergy needed to improve governance

Wednesday, May 25th, 2022 03:42 | By
Wafula chebukati-presidential aspirants
IEBC chairperson Wafula Chebukati. PHOTO/Courtesy

The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) has been caught in a storm over aspirants that different institutions have deemed as unfit to run for office in the August 9 General Election.

Lobby groups have pushed for corruption suspects and leaders with integrity questions hanging over their heads to be barred from office. The voices of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) and the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) have spoken out on why such aspirants should be barred.

However, no one really seems to know who should make the final decision in spite of pronouncements by the courts and the Chief Justice.

This week, two important events took place. One was a meeting of accountants with the Cabinet Secretary for Interior, Dr Fred Matiang’i, and the second was a court decision on billionaire Humphrey Kariuki’s tax evasion case. Matiang’i charged at the accountants, saying they were slowing down the fight against corruption by being indifferent to complaints about misappropriation of funds, and that some are directly involved in  fraud with up to 14 per cent of cases pointing directly at complicity of rogue accountants.

In the court case, the judge made a landmark decision in the fight against corruption. No one is allowed to prosecute cases in court unless they are from the Director of Public Prosecutions office.

That the Kenya Revenue Authority, Police Service, EACC “or any other Government entity mandated with criminal investigation role under any written law, cannot draft, sign and or present any charge sheets in any criminal prosecution,” the court said, clearly laying a case for separation of powers. With that proclamation, the case was dropped.

The ruling has sent a precedent, sending a strong message that government institutions ought to work in tandem if the country is to address the question of integrity. There is no room for confusion or duplication of roles.

Corruption and other malpractices have been pushing the country to its knees, yet, all this time, government officials are waiting for someone who will bell the cat. It is irresponsible of the investigative agencies to proceed to court when they know they can only pursue their cases through the DPP office for instance. Each agency must play its rightful role if they are to make the country better and improve governance and the rule of law.

The fight to improve governance is noble and any challenge standing in its way should be addressed with the seriousness this deserves. Kenyans want results. We call on the government to get it right if citizens are to get the desired outcome.

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