Kenyan NGOs: Action Needed Against Public Service Corruption

Nairobi, 17 November 2015.

Recent action against officials implicated in corruption and other economic crimes is welcome progress in the fight against corruption in Kenya.

The arrest and imminent court appearance of Planning Principal Secretary Peter Mangiti, NYS Director General Nelson Githinji as well as the chief executives of Geothermal Development Company (GDC), the Kenya Pipeline Company (KPC), the National Water Conservation and Pipeline Corporation (NWCPC) and other officers of these institutions is a good first step in the path towards eliminating corruption in public service in Kenya.

We now call for the full application of the law once these officers are charged in court.

‘Stepping aside’ is a concept that is not supported by law in Kenya and is therefore unacceptable. Section 62 of the Anti-Corruption and Economic Crimes Act provides for automatic suspension of a public officer charged with a corruption or economic crime. This should be applied across the board.

However, we still call for action on Cabinet Secretaries under whose watch corruption and economic crimes were committed. These Cabinet Secretaries must take political responsibility for actions in their ministries.

The offending actions happened either with their full knowledge or without their knowledge. In either case, the Cabinet Secretary is responsible. If corruption and economic crimes are committed in their ministries Cabinet Secretaries are either ineffectual or complacent. In December 2014, Cabinet Secretaries were handed total control over their ministries.

Further, President Kenyatta’s ‘list of shame’ set precedence for action against Cabinet Secretaries and we cannot have selective application of action against Cabinet Secretaries whose ministries are embroiled in corruption scandals.

Our demands on how to tackle the scourge of corruption in Kenya still stand.

  1. We demand an immediate and systematic lifestyle audit of all public officials starting from the Cabinet.
  2. We demand that the President should set in motion a process under his office to review all public procurement done over the last three years for compliance with the law and value for money principles.
  3. We demand that the President updates Kenyans on the position of the cases in the list of shame.
  4. We demand that the President dismisses all Cabinet Secretaries under investigation for corruption and that he reconstitutes the Cabinet.
  5. We demand that Parliament initiate a systematic audit of the cost of goods and services in the entire public sector and for relevant institutions to sanction those who abuse procurement processes to steal from Kenyans.
  6. We demand that the Attorney General immediately proposes legislative amendments to provide for transparency of ownership of all companies registered or operating in Kenya.

We call upon Kenyans to continue demanding that corruption be dealt with immediately and swiftly by all arms and institutions of government. We remain committed to supporting and rallying Kenyans to monitor the use of public resources and demand for action against corruption


Irũngũ Houghton, Associate Director, Society for International Development
Prof. PLO Lumumba, The Association of the Citizens Against Corruption (ACAC)
Samuel Kimeu, Executive Director, Transparency international Kenya