Media singled out as crucial link in war against graft

Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) Commissioner Dr Dabar Abdi Maalim noted that the gains that have been achieved in the country in the fight against corruption would not have been possible without the involvement of the media in disseminating the information to the public.

Dr Maalim who was speaking during the closure of a three-day training workshop for journalists, on reporting graft, similarly urged the media to be at the forefront in the battle against the vice by highlighting unethical issues within the society.

“There will be no corruption which will be won without the participation of the media because if you don’t report we cannot know. And if you don’t report what we are doing the public will never know. Please disseminate,” he told journalists.

On allegations, that the antigraft agency had done little in prosecuting big-time looters, the Commissioner said such accusations border on ignorance and lack of information on how the justice system works.

Dr Dabar said the commission is only one of the many multi-agency entities in the war against graft and had no mandate in convicting those alleged to have embezzled public funds or grabbed public assets.

He nevertheless said the commission has so far managed to make significant strides in its mandate as a public watchdog by combating the vice.

“The Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission is one of the chains in the justice system. We investigate and forward our findings to the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions who will then forward the same to the judiciary for the determination of the cases. We try our best but as you know corruption will still fight back,” he added.

During the event, EACC Commissioner, Rose Mghoi, said respect to the spirit of the constitution remains the key in the fight against graft and journalists should play a key role in educating the masses on the kind of leadership qualities needed when electing leaders into public office.

Mghoi therefore called upon to take a leading role in championing for the entrenchment of honesty and integrity in public offices.

The commissioner noted that ignorance among Kenyans in regard to provisions of the constitution has led them into putting persons with integrity issues into office, the challenge, which can be surmounted through public sensitization campaigns.

Mghoi singled out Chapter Six of the constitution, which deals with Leadership and Integrity as the de-clogger in the war on graft and said the media should act as frontrunners in educating the masses on its requirement, to help them in making informed decisions.

“Journalists play a role in informing and educating the public on the kind of leaders needed in public offices in line with Chapter Six of the Constitution. We have an opportunity to get the kind of leaders who can deliver services and ensure we get such leaders. If we lose this, we lose the entire spirit of the constitution,” she told the participants.

Early last month EACC Chair Rev (Rtd) Dr Eluid Wabukhala said the commission was on target in addressing graft in the country after concluding 824 corruption-related cases.

Dr Wabukhala said 153 out of the 244 cases have already been finalized and the files forwarded to the office of the Directorate of Criminal Investigations for further action.

EACC has also managed to recover Sh 19.9 billion worth of illegally acquired assets and disrupted a possible loss of Sh 96 billion within the last ten years.

“In essence, the average annual loss averted is approximately Sh 9.6 billion since the promulgation of the 2010 constitution,” he said during a training workshop for NHIF staff held at Saweli Lodge in Naivasha on February 3, 2021.

In 2016, former EACC Chairperson, Philip Kinisu, warned that Kenya was losing at least a third of its Sh 2 trillion revenue collection to corruption, a scenario he said was a threat to national security.

A 2018 Corruption Index Survey carried out by the PriceWaterhouse Coopers, ranked Kenya at position three globally, falling only behind France and South Africa.

  

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