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Kenya Anti Corruption Commission (KACC) Director Patrick Lumumba has asked Kenyans to be wary of anti-reformers who are blocking the implementation of the new Constitution.
In a speech to participants at the International Anti Corruption Conference held in a Nairobi hotel Thursday, the anti-graft boss said forces entrenched in the old order are not happy with the full implementation of the Constitution and the fight against corruption.
“There are elements within us who may not want Kenya to progress to a stable, democratic and economically developed country that the reforms are geared towards,” he said.
Lumumba added this is the time the country should fight forces against war on corruption.
“During this period of transformation and change, we should guard against impunity and punish those blocking reforms,” he said.
Lumumba blamed corruption for retarded economic growth, poor revenue collection, low external investments, increased cost of doing business and imbalances in the distribution of national wealth.
“The journey towards reforms will not be smooth at all. Turbulence shall rock the boat in every step we make blocking the way,” he said.
“One of the biggest threats we must watch out for is corruption, which threatens to hijack the reform process,” he added.
The two-day conference was organised by the Hanns Seidel Foundation (HSF) to strategise on how best to tackle corruption as new institutions are constituted and others restructured
HSF’s Deputy Head of Department Klaus Liepert said the wrath of the law should bear down against those who unlawfully acquire public property for personal gain.
“We are looking for the tools we need to shut down politically connected collusion cartels that cause fuel shortages and push up the cost of doing business, which in turn depresses economic growth, fuels unemployment and produces entire generations of unemployed youth,” he said.
He urged anti-corruption agencies to fight graft and confront the political forces perpetuating corruption, which continue to suppress the economic development of most African countries, whilst propelling a few elite into obscene riches.