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Accountants want President Uhuru Kenyatta to sack corrupt State officials

BUSINESS
By Nyambega Gisesa | July 16th 2015

The Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Kenya (ICPAK) wants the Government to adopt strong legal and institutional framework to insulate the Ethics and Anti-corruption Commission (EACC) from political manipulation.

The accountants' professional body is also appealing to President Uhuru Kenyatta not to assent to a Bill seeking to dissolve the EACC and further wants him to sack officials in his government who are accused of perpetuating corruption.

National Assembly

If the President agrees to the demands by ICPAK, then he will have to sack senior government officials including his cabinet secretaries. Their action comes at a time the National Assembly has voted to send home the EACC secretariat, weeks after commissioners of the anti-graft agency were also dismissed.

The Bill was discussed and passed by Parliament last week. The institution warns that if it becomes law it will "send negative signals to the general public and entrench a culture of corruption and impunity which if not checked, will lead Kenya to the path of self-destruction."

In a letter signed by Chairman Fernandes Barasa, the institute other than asking the President not to assent to the Bill also made other demands. The demands include cutting down waste and duplication of resources in government and implementing all outstanding corruption reports, including the Auditor General's Reports, the Controller of Budget Reports, and the Public Accounts Committee Reports.

The institute also wants the President to consider including representation from professional bodies in the fight against corruption. The President on March 26 tabled before the National Assembly a list containing 175 names of state and public officers, legislators, parastatal chiefs and County government officials implicated in corrupt practices.

The commission mandated to spearhead the fight against graft produced the confidential corruption report, which documented instances of corruption by top government and corporate officials. The institute accused a section of legislators, bureaucrats, County government leadership and political class of seeking for EACC's disbandment to compromise the war on corruption.

"It is apparent that the legislators are hell bent on ensuring that corruption cases, where some legislators, their friends, tribesmen and business associates are implicated are diffused through the dissolution of EACC," it says. ICPAK accused the corrupt in Kenya of looting the country and failing to invest within the country as "did America's "robber barons" in the nineteenth century."

Bank accounts

"Rather, Kenya's kleptocrats spend the plunder lavishly on mistresses, luxurious cars, fabulous mansions-on consumption, and not productive ventures. The rest of the loot is spirited out of the country into foreign bank accounts to develop the already advanced countries – what an irony!" it stated.

Kenya ranks as one of the most corrupt countries in the world, landing 145th spot out of 174 on Transparency International's Global Corruption Perception Index, which ranks the police force as the most corrupt institution in Kenya.

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