Makueni, Hivos sign MoU to tame Corruption in the County

The county government will collaborate with a global firm to promote transparency in procurement processes.

It signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Hivos international for Open Contracting Data Standard (OCDS), becoming the first county to open up its procurement systems to international scrutiny.

The MoU was signed by Governor Kivutha Kibwana and Hivos East African Regional Director Mendi Njonjo at Wote on Monday.

Hivos is a humanitarian organisation advocating social justice through creative solutions to persistent global problems.

The MoU establishes a collaborative framework between the two organisations with a view to developing a viable programme for improving procurement processes for transparency.

As part of the MoU, Hivos will assist the county government in capacity building on the open contracting approaches and principles.

Ms Njonjo said deal will assist Makueni in detecting fraud and corruption risks in public procurement while entrenching fairer competition and a level playing ground for businesses.

Prof Kibwana hailed the open contracting system of procurement as the solution to the endemic corruption plaguing the country.

He said the President and the national government should adopt the system as an antidote to corruption.

"There should be no secrecy on the expenditure of public money. Public procurement should be like an open shop where all that you sell is on open display," said Prof Kibwana.

The governor said some people were feeling threatened by the open and transparent governance his administration had adopted, but added that such people had no place in Makueni. "Some people think we are too open that it is starting to threaten their dealings. It is time we all stood by President Uhuru Kenyatta and in one accord declare that Kenya and corruption cannot live together. One has to give way to the other, and that is corruption giving way to Kenya," he said.

Kibwana said the open contracting procurement system would outlive his administration and be presented to the County Assembly for ratification. "As the governor, I will be more unrelenting in overseeing operationalisation of this MoU because it will bear fruit long after my exit. No one will be able to undo the gains then," Kibwana said.