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How will you slay graft dragon? MPs ask retired Anglican Archbishop Eliud Wabukala

By Wilfred Ayaga | Updated Fri, January 6th 2017 at 00:00 GMT +3
Retired Anglican Archbishop Eliud Wabukala when he appeared before the National Assembly's Justice and Legal Affairs committee yesterday for vetting as the nominee for the position of chairman of the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission. [PHOTO: JONAH ONYANGO/STANDARD]

Retired Anglican Archbishop Eliud Wabukala was yesterday asked to explain what he will do differently as head of the State's anti-graft agency.

Archbishop Wabukala was being vetted by MPs for the position of head of the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC).

Members of the Committee for Justice and Legal Affairs of the National Assembly asked him why he thought he was a better prospect, warning that he could turn out to be a lame duck anti-corruption general at the mercy of powerful cartels, shadowy wheeler dealers and corruption fat cats that have in the past proved lethal to those standing in their way.

"I really want to pity you because you have put yourself into a den of wolves, and I do not know if you will convert yourself into Meshack, Shadrack and Abednego in that den of wolves. We have tried even people who are crooks in the hope that they will catch their fellow crooks, but they have failed," said Johanna Ngeno (Emurua Dikirr).

The MP further noted that the man of the cloth represented the last hope in the anti-graft campaign, and that the country could be forced "to ask God to run EACC" should he too fall by the wayside.

"Are you aware that if you fail, we'll have no one to turn to but God because you are next to God? Are you aware that Kenyans will be looking at you as the last resort? If you fail, we will be asking God to run EACC," Ngeno told the retired cleric.

Moses Cheboi (Kuresoi North) said former EACC heads were all men of ability and diverse talents, but had still failed to fulfill their promises of delivering Kenyans from graft.

"We had rich ones like John Harun Mwau, the most eloquent ones like Patrick Lumumba, the most resolute ones like Justice Aaron Ringera, the most gentlemanly like Philip Kinisu and even fine lawyers like Mumo Matemu, but they failed. Even when Rehoboam took over the reins of Israel, he was told that since his predecessors had chastised people with whips, he should chastise them with scorpions. What is it that you will do differently from your predecessors?" asked Cheboi in a session characterised by biblical references.

Wabukala, who is the current chairman of the National Anti-Corruption Campaign Steering Committee, put on a brave face, telling the lawmakers his approach to slaying the corruption dragon would be grounded in the twin strategies of reward and punishment.

"The Bible says that whatever you have seen and whatever you have heard, put into action. If you are able to implement what you have seen and heard, you will be an unstoppable leader in the anti-corruption war," House committee chairman Samuel Chepkonga (Ainabkoi) advised.

Wabukala said just like in the Bible, those who follow the straight and narrow path of integrity will be rewarded, and those straying will be met with the full force of the law.

He sought to allay fears that he would be a humble and limping EACC head who might even forgive wrongdoers instead of forwarding their names for prosecution.

He said he would strengthen the secretariat and work with all stakeholders in leading a campaign to awaken the nation's consciousness.


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