News 2005


LSK: Kenyans must call for action against corrupt officials

East African Standard
04 Feb 2005

The Law Society of Kenya yesterday asked Kenyans to stand up and demand that the Government takes action against corrupt ministers and public servants.

The Law Society of Kenya, while welcoming British High Commissioner Edward Clay’s attack on Government’s inaction on graft, said its Kenyans who must say that enough is enough.

"Clay is not saying something that Kenyans do not know. It is an open secret that corruption in high levels of Government is the order of the day," LSK boss Ahmednassir Abdulahi said.

He said Kenyans had become so passive and seemed to have accepted corruption as normal despite its endemic levels in Government and its effects on the economy.

And he commended Clay for his consistency in raising issues concerning corruption within the government.

Ahmednassir said it is an open secret that despite its bad record, Anglo Leasing Finance is currently undertaking five to six contracts with the Government.

Kanu’s new national treasurer, Mr Billow Kerrow, agreed with Clay that there was "grand corruption" by the Office of the President, particularly in the procurement of goods and services.

Kerrow said Finance Minister David Mwiraria lacked the will to fight graft. He said Mwiraria had frustrated attempts by Parliament to scrutinise two major contracts allegedly awarded to two overseas firms for the supply of security equipment for which the Government paid Sh10.4 billion.

He said the government paid an overseas firm $90 million for supply of security equipment, including vehicles while another firm was paid $40 million.

"I raised this matter sometime in September, 2004 and the Minister for Finance said there was nothing wrong with the two contracts," Kerrow told The Standard in an interview.

He said the concerns of MPs were raised when they realised the payments were contained in the printed estimates for 2004/2005 financial year and they sought to have more details.

"The procurement of security equipment is shrouded in mystery under the guise of protecting state security and it is impossible to tell how much the country loses each year," he said.

Kerrow said Kanu MPs had also raised the issue of procurement of civilian ships where $70 million (Sh5.6 billion) was to be spent, but the legislators would not lay their hands on the documents.

And Anglican Bishops Beneah Salalah of Mumias and Simon Okech of Maseno North said Narc had let Kenyans down.

"Narc was popularly elected but little did Kenyans know that they were voting in a corrupt system.

Speaking in Kakamega, the prelates hit out at President Kibaki "for remaining asleep" while some of his officers looted public resources.

Assistant Minister Robinson Githae conceded that there is still corruption in the country and said the Government needs time to stamp it out.

He said there are plans to open up security tenders which have in the past been done privately at the Office of the President. The tenders will be made public and advertised in the media.