By DPPS/Rose Welimo
Deputy President William Ruto has asked the Law Society of Kenya (LSK) and lawyers to partner with the Government in the fight against corruption.
Ruto said the fight against corruption was a collective responsibility that required efforts from all professionals to contain the vice.
He said most of the corruption cases were being perpetuated by professionals like lawyers, engineers, auditors, and accountants among others.
“We have robbers using guns to steal from Kenyans while we have professionals using pen and paper to steal from Kenyans in equal measure. Such activities are not done by people who are fools, but professionals,” said Ruto.
Addressing members of LSK at Diani, in Kwale County on Thursday, the Deputy President said the Government has done its part in the fight against corruption and urged professionals in various fields to do the same.
He said laws on procurement, which have been the biggest source of corruption, have been changed to ensure accounting officers take responsibility for any mismanagement.
“The Government has strengthened rules on procurement to ensure accounting officers will be held responsible for mismanagement in any department,” said Ruto.
“We are making procurement transparent to ensure tenders are awarded in accordance to rules and regulations,” added Ruto.
He said days when ‘orders from above’ in determining those to award tenders are long gone.
“Days when leaders called accounting officers to reward them with tenders without following the due process of law are long gone. The matter rests with the accounting officers who will take individual responsibility in misuse of resources,” said Ruto.
He said the Government has deployed enough resources to Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC), Directorate of Public Prosecution (DPP) and Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) to fight corruption.
“We have deployed 95 additional prosecutors to DPP to enhance its work,” said Ruto.
He added that the private sector has formulated the bribery law targeting those companies, which engage in corrupt deals with a view to blacklisting them from doing businesses with the Government.
“We hope the new law will help blacklist those corrupt companies from doing businesses with the Government and the private sector,” said Ruto.
LSK chairman Isaac Okero said LSK will continue to work and support the Government in the fight against corruption.
He told lawyers to demonstrate their seriousness in the fight against corruption and avoid activities, which could compromise the profession.
“Corruption is a widespread concern in both public and private sector and it is derailing development efforts. We should work together and embrace good governance in confronting the vice,” said Okero.
Kwale Governor Salim Mvurya called on the need to foster accountability as the only way to fight corruption in the counties.
“The media should also help expose those engaging in corruption so that they can be blackmailed as this will serve as example to those who will do the same,” said Mvurya.
Siaya Governor Cornell Rasanga, chairman IEBC Issak Hassan and Mombasa Senator Omar Hassan among others were also in attendance.