Pending parliamentary approval, retired Anglican Archbishop Eliud Wabukhala will be the next Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) chairman. This follows President Uhuru Kenyatta’s presentation of Mr Wabukala’s name to Parliament for vetting and approval.
Immediate former EACC chairman Phillip Kinisu left office in August after his integrity was questioned following revelations that Esaki Ltd, a company in which he once served as a director, received a Sh35 million payment in 2014 from the Health ministry.
It was further alleged that between March 2015 and June 2016, the Devolution ministry paid Sh246 million to Esaki Ltd, thus raising doubt about his ability to vigorously pursue the Sh791 million losses at the National Youth Service. All previous chairmen of the anti-graft agency left office in ignominy.
Wabukala will take over office with a clear conscience. Having served as a man of the cloth, he is not bogged down by any known corruption scandal. Tending to God's sheep was easy enough, but he must realise he is walking into a lion’s den and must keep his wits about him.
There are those who are waiting to trip him and make sure he does not succeed in much the same way that his predecessors did not succeed.
Should he get the green light, Wabukala’s work is cut out for him. He will endear himself to Kenyans if he successfully handles issues surrounding the Afya house, National Youth Service and other cases where billions were lost.
He will be doing this country a great service if he brings to book the architects of corruption in high places. But to succeed, Wabukala will need the cooperation of other players. New Chief Justice David Maraga has shown he is willing by setting up a special corruption court to expedite proceedings. What lies ahead is tough, but Wabukala has the goodwill of Kenyans; he should not betray that trust.