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Mutula raises the red flag over plans to disband KACC

BUSIA
By | October 25th 2009

By Kenfrey Kiberenge

Individuals implicated in corruption are waiting with bated breath to see if a Bill seeking to disband the Kenya Anti-Corruption Commission (Kacc) will be enacted.

There are fears the Bill, which is being fronted by Garsen MP Danson Mungatana, may get support from MPs who are on the Kacc list.

The Anti-Corruption and Economic Crimes (Repeal) Bill 2009, gazetted on October 9, proposes to repeal the Anti-Corruption and Economic Crimes Act 2003. It seeks to disband Kacc and its advisory board.

Justice Minister Mutula Kilonzo reads mischief in the proposed law, terming it unacceptable. "The people on the list of shame I released (in Parliament) will be very happy to hear that it has been disbanded," He said.

Similar sentiments have been expressed by the Parliamentary Select Committee on Constitution Review Chairman Mohammed Abdikadir, who dismisses Mungatana’s Bill as "reckless".

committee’s stand

"PSC would never support such a move and we do not share the views of Mungatana," Abdikadir told The Standard on Sunday.

And former Ntonyiri MP Maoka Maore, who was among the legislators who blew the whistle on the multi-billion-shilling Anglo Leasing scam, claims corrupt individuals in Government are banking on the Bill to erase ghosts of corruption from their backs.

"It is a terrible thing to do and that will mean no charges for them," says Maore.

If passed by Parliament, the proposed law will kick out the entire Kacc workforce and the advisory board.

Mutula believes such a move would erase institutional memory and break a chain of evidence in the corridors of justice.

"There is a serious lobby to destroy institutional memory, files and materials collected by the anti-graft body because if it is disbanded then it means anyone wishing to handle the same corruption cases will have to conduct fresh investigations," says the Justice Minister. The minister says the fact that Parliament will resume on November 10 and work for just four weeks before breaking for Christmas holidays means the country can only have a director after March, next year.

"Without a director, there are a lot of things the commission cannot do," says Mutula, adding Ringera’s appointment of John Mutonyi as the commission’s deputy director and acting director is void.

"He did not have those powers because he had ceased to be a director," he says. He proposes that Kacc be given prosecutorial powers.

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