Kenya: Public Action against Mindless Theft and Waste of State Resources (01.11.2016)
A Statement Issued by the Kenyan CSOs on November 1, 2016
Since independence, Kenyan public has been treated to a cocktail of abominable theft, plunder, squander and waste of public resources, while the institutions tasked with the mandate to probe and deal with the said scandals have repeatedly sanctified the same. Bailed as the most corrupt and unaccountable administration in Kenya’s political history so far, the Jubilee regime’s 4 years in power has been characterized by rampant, reckless and mindless looting and misappropriation of state coffers.
The situation in the country remains so grave and dire that the official Auditor General’s report for 2015 found that just 1% of Kenya government spending and a quarter of the entire 1.6 trillion shillings budget was properly accounted for. Current reports indicate that Kenya loses approximately 600Billion shillings out of its annual budget of 2 trillion (close to 30%) through wanton theft and waste. Imagine what this amount could do in supporting health care for the poor, provision of quality basic education, clean water or employment for our youth?
Specifically, the Kenyan CSOs note with concern the following systemic and vicious failures of the political establishments, both at the national and county levels: That as noted by John Githongo, a prominent anti-corruption crusader, “corruption in Kenya has deepened and widened since President Uhuru Kenyatta came to power in 2013”.
- Mega scams such as the National Youth Service Saga, “Chicken Gate” Scandal; land grabbing; flawed tendering in the Multi-Billion Standard Gauge Railway; Misappropriation of devolved funds and current Afya House Scandal in the Ministry of Health among others remain unsolved. That majority of those adversely mentioned in the above scams are either close associates or relatives of senior state/public officers thus deepening vested interests and political complicity.
- That the institutions mandated to provide leadership in the fight against corruption have terribly failed to live up to the Kenyan public expectation; from the presidency, Judiciary, Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission, office of the Director of Public Prosecution, Office of the Attorney General.
- That the president has failed to demonstrate genuine, bold and effective political will and leadership to combat corruption over the years. His admission of inability to battle graft in a recent state house anti-corruption summit sums it all.
- That the judiciary has failed to put in places mechanisms to expedite corruption related cases. As a result such cases take too long in courts. This has delayed justice and only encouraged corruption to thrive.
- That the Ethics and Anti-corruption Commission has failed to effectively and independently deliver on its key mandate; law enforcement, investigation and corruption prevention in the discharge of its functions. This has rendered the institution a friendly environment for the corrupt. In fact on many occasions the EACC has sanitized the corrupt.
- That most of the alleged grand corruption prime suspects have been exonerated through a sham process while those who have not been exonerated have not been prosecuted either but remain free to enjoy their loot.
- That most of the state/public officers who have declared their wealth have done so in private, thus without adequate public disclosure. This is a precedence set by the presidency hence incapacitating the public to hold both state and public officers accountable for their wealth.
- That the government has failed to demonstrate greater transparency in procurement processes by not publicizing information on tender analysis, detailed contractor profiles including list of directors, engagement contracts, project implementation plans, bills of quantities and other related information.
It’s in response to the president’s admission of helplessness, his inability to act, and the failure by the different state agencies to admit responsibility in the midst of wanton theft of state resources, that the Kenyan Civil Society is calling a national mass demonstration to demand for urgent and systematic actions against mega corruption in Kenya.
- The demonstration will take place on Thursday (03/11/2016) from freedom corner and will end with a submission of a petition with a Demand List to the president.
- The Demand List will capture the practical actions that the President should implement in line with his legal and political mandate and obligations.
- We therefore call upon the public and the media to turn up for the demonstration. We also request members of the public to come dressed in red and carry a whistle and the Kenyan flag.
We have planned sustained political actions to ensure zero tolerance to and increased accountability for public theft in Kenya.