The Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) officials have cited the election of leaders with questionable integrity as a big challenge in the fight against corruption.

EACC chairperson Bishop David Oginde and the commission’s CEO Twalib Mbarak have observed that corrupt leaders who have ascended to various political positions have abused the powers associated with their positions to dilute the fight against graft in the country.

Oginde speaking during a ceremony to mark this year’s international anti-corruption day held in Murang’a, divulged that some members of parliament are pushing for legislation and amendment of laws which pose impediment in the war on corruption.

“In recent past we have witnessed some legislators who sponsor motions aimed to dilute effortts on the fight against corruption. One proposed amendment was seeking to remove procurement bridges from legal redress and place them under administrative action.

Another proposal was to exempt any person who has ever been convicted over a corruption case to be free to seek any elective position or serve in public office,” cited Oginde.

He added “In conflict of interest bill before the house they are attempting to water down that public officers can still trade with the government.

The chairperson observed that some communities and parties have been ganging up against law enforcement agents when a corruption suspect is being arrested or being questioned.

Oginde said it’s the right time to strengthen legal structures and systems that will see effective fight against the graft citing numerous negative impacts of graft.

“For Kenya to successfully be a corruption free country, a lot is needed to wipe out the menace. First by electing people of integrity to various leadership positions,” he observed.

EACC, the chairperson, said it will not relent in its fight against graft in the country saying they will not be threatened or blackmailed as they go for individuals who have amassed wealth through corrupt deals.

“No nation has ever thrived through shortcuts like corruption, gambling, fraud among others. Great nations are those that have prioritised hard work, honest trust and integrity,” he noted.

Oginde called upon public officers to embrace national values, ethics and integrity as they deliver services.

On his part the EACC CEO said lack of ethics and corruption has found its way in the education system of the country.

Mbarak asserted that a section of academic certificates held by some Kenyans including those in leadership are not genuine.

“As a country where are we heading to with the increased cases of exam malpractices? It’s also worrying people are holding fake academic certificates. This calls for every Kenyan to think of the future of this nation and avoid some of these shameful unethical practices,” he added.

The CEO challenged Kenyans to ensure the people they elect will be accountable on what they do while in the positions they are holding.

“Counties like Murang’a and others are doing well when it comes to fighting against graft and in accountability, but with others, corruption is the order of the day. My appeal to Kenyans is to help EACC in its work by ensuring those elected are people who embrace values of integrity, honesty and accountability,” remarked Mbarak.

Leaders present led by Governor Irungu Kang’ata called for automation in provision of services saying this will reduce physical contacts thus few chances of corruption.

Kang’ata observed Murang’a has been able to tame corruption by automating most of its services including collection of revenue.

“Murang’a has managed to deal with corruption by ensuring services are offered on digital platforms. In our hospitals services are offered through an automated system and one can monitor collection of revenue among other activities,” asserted Kang’ata.

Kiharu MP Ndindi Nyoro observed that a thriving economy and equitable distribution of resources will play key roles in the fight against corruption.

He promised to push for enhanced budgetary allocation to institutions charged with a role in fighting graft like EACC, judiciary and office of public prosecution.

“Despite the liquidity challenge in the country, as chair of the parliamentary committee on budget, I will push for more funding to the key institutions mandated with the responsibility to fight corruption,” he added.

-Kenya News Agency