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Why tough choices await procurement officers in purge against graft

By Rawlings Otieno and Roselyne Obala | Published Tue, June 12th 2018 at 00:00, Updated June 11th 2018 at 23:45 GMT +3
Head of Public Service Joseph Kinyua

Heads of procurement and accountants in ministries, agencies and State corporations have been told to submit lists of moveable and immovable assets owned or partly owned in the purge against corruption.

According to a letter from Head of Public Service Joseph Kinyua, the officers are required to submit a list of known companies and businesses owned or controlled by them or immediate family members that have had commercial dealings with the office to which the officers are deployed.

“... the Government has decided to sacrifice us in the name of fighting corruption. I can’t fight my employer. I'm now consulting my lawyer about taking early retirement or holding on to the end,” said a procurement officer in one parastatal.

The directive appears to be the Jubilee’s government's latest tactic in holding public officers living lifestyles that are not commensurate with their salaries to account.

The Government is also pursuing the officers’ immediate families and close associates.

“The officers are required to submit the required information to the Head of Public Service to be delivered in sealed envelope to Harambee House, 3rd floor on or before 5pm on Friday, June 8, 2018,” read part of the letter.

Although this is not a new strategy going by previous regimes, the thorough vetting recently announced by the State might see a number of officers opting out.

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Some of the tough rules include submitting certified copies of bank statements of officers and their spouses for the last six months, including any foreign accounts, and certified copies of theirs and spouses' mobile money statements for the last six months.

Also to be included are Kenya Revenue Authority income tax returns for the officers, their companies and businesses for the last three years.

They have also been instructed to provide lists of liabilities.

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