IAfrica News Kenya Focus 

April 19 - 25, 2013


 Coastweek   Kenya

 HOME - click this banner to return to http://www.coastweek.com 





County governments urged to put
in place anti-graft structures

More regional offices will be considered once the Commission concludes the ongoing vetting process of its staff as required by law

NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- Kenya’s anti-corruption agency on Monday called on the county governments created under the devolved government structure to put anti-graft system in place to enhance transparency and accountability with appropriate checks and balances.

In a statement issued in Nairobi, the Ethics and Anti- Corruption Commission (EACC) expressed its readiness in preventing and combating corruption in the developed units of governance and warned corrupt officials of prosecution.

The Commission would like to assure all Kenyans that it is continually putting in place mechanism to ensure that its services are extended and accessible in all the county governments,” EACC Vice chairperson Irene Keino said in Nairobi.

Keino put on notice all State officers that it shall zealously discharge its mandate with regard to combating and preventing corruption in public service.

No public officer, wherever serving in whoever capacity should regard him or herself as outside the scrutiny or grasp of the law. Any and every public official who plunders public resources or engages in unethical conduct shall be swiftly and decisively dealt with by the Commission in accordance with the law,” she warned.

The new system, under the new Constitution, is geared towards involving the people in governance by giving them chance to actively engage in law making, and also allows better supervision and better implementation of the projects at the grassroots.

Government officials say the constitution, born of the post- election chaos of 2008, and the devolution project embedded in it is a direct attempt to address the underlying causes of that conflict.

The devolved government is meant to defuse the inequities that have undermined national cohesion, and to prevent the concentration (and confiscation) of power by ruling factions.

Keino called on the public to vigilantly scrutinize and monitor the activities of their leaders, especially with regard to management of public resources.

They [public] should be on the look out for instances of misuse, plunder or embezzlement of public resources; or any other form of unethical conduct of public officers and share such information with the Commission,” she said.

Keino said the election of all the 47 Governors, Senators and County Representatives in the March 4 general elections demonstrated that the process of actual devolution had been ushered in earnest in the East African nation.

She said the anti-graft agency will open three more regional offices in Nakuru in northwest Kenya, Isiolo in northern Kenya and Makueni in eastern Kenya to supplement the Commission’s services available in the agency’s obtaining regions.

More regional offices will be considered once the Commission concludes the ongoing vetting process of its staff as required by law,” she said.

The Commission called on County leaders to observe and uphold the rule of law and the constitutional requirements and standards on leadership.

Keino also called on the county leaders to formulate and implement a framework for civic education and empowerment to enhance citizens’ participation in governance.

The Commission calls upon all leaders and in particular State officers of the respective counties to strictly comply with and observe the requirements of all laws, regulations and procedures put in place to regulate management of county affairs, especially with regard to ethnics and integrity,” she said.

The anti-graft vice chairperson also calls the county leaders to foster cooperation and collaboration with other institutions and stakeholders in promoting ethnics and governance on county matters.

She said lack of systems of devolved governance are new and largely not clearly understood, noting that corruption thrives where there are no systems or the system are weak.

Corruption is a major obstacle to the realization of good governance. It not only undermines the ability of government to deliver services to the people, but also erodes public trust in the government and its agencies,” Keino said.

Many Kenyans have expressed hope that devolution will boost interaction between the government and local communities to address misuse of resources like forests, minerals and wildlife.

They said there will be abundant resources in the 47 counties including sand, honey, coal and limestone and only hope that these counties will have clear plans on how to exploit these resources for the benefit of everyone.

The county government includes a country assembly and executive committees led by governors who are directly elected.

The executive administration is charged with the responsibility of exercising executive power, implementing laws for administration of the county as well as carrying out other executive functions of the county.

Members of the county assemblies and a Speaker will have powers to enact laws for effective performance at the county level, act as an oversight instrument on the county executive committee and receive, approve plans and policies for smooth operation and management of resources and county institutions.

Noting that there will be teething problems, Kenyatta said the hiccups should not be interpreted as attempts to derail devolution. “Let us understand that we will have problems but we are committed to working together in resolving those problems and ensuring devolution succeeds,” he said.


Remember: you read it first at coastweek.com !





Copyright © '96, '97, '98, '99, '00, '01, '02, '03, '04, '05, '06, '07, '08, '09, '10, '11, '12.
Coastweek Newspapers Ltd.  All rights reserved.

Comments and questions: