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'Wash wash' suspects could flood parliament, Fred Matiang'i warns

By Stephanie Wangari | May 10th 2022 | 2 min read
By Stephanie Wangari | May 10th 2022
Interior CS Fred Matiang'i and the Director of Public Prosecutions Noordin Haji during the 2nd National Conference on Criminal Justice Reforms in Naivasha [File]

Politicians linked to money laundering activities could swamp Parliament and hold elective seats if a lax in financial regulations continues, Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang'i has warned.

Matiang'i lamented that if institutions tasked with prosecuting suspects do not act fast, politicians could ‘bribe’ their way into Parliament.

“We could end up laundering criminals of unprecedented standards into our elective offices. We might have over 40 per cent of elected office holders becoming our leaders if we allow all the ‘wash wash’ gangs and other criminals to bribe their way in the coming elections," said Matiang'i.

Addressing the second National Conference on Criminal Justice Reforms in Naivasha today, the CS told a forum of stakeholders that weak regulations on the source of campaign funds was a major threat to the credibility of the election.

Matiang'i, however, absolved the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) from blame for the weak regulatory framework on campaign financing.

He at the same time expressed frustrations with the process of prosecuting suspects involved in social media abuse.

“We have the challenge of multiple bonds issued by our courts. Some of the people who have been arrested are enjoying their eighth, ninth or tenth bond.

He observed that failure to amend relevant laws on intelligence gathering and prosecution gave an escape window to repeat offenders. "This of course does little to deter others from engaging an army of bloggers to character assassinate others," he said.

Other obstacles for a credible election that the CS identified include disregard for laws and regulations during political gatherings, the proliferation of hate speech and incitement to ethnic conflicts.

The meeting was attended by Chief Justice Martha Koome, Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Noordin Haji, Inspector General of Police Hilary Mutyambai, NCIC chair Samuel Kobia and DCIboss George Kinoti, among others.

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