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ICPAK wants neutral team to probe MPs

COUNTIES
By Benard Sanga | March 19th 2015
Chairman of Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Kenya (ICPAK) Benson Okundi

NAIROBI: The Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) has lost the moral authority to investigate corruption allegations against MPs owing to recent wrangles and corruption allegations against some of its officers, accountants have said.

The Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Kenya (ICPAK) described an ongoing probe by the National Assembly’s Powers and Privileges Committee (PPC) as a cover-up. The ICPAK Wednesday said the PPC investigation is aimed at cleaning up MPs soaked in corruption allegations given that “MPs are known for defending each other”.

“Ironically, these institutions are themselves accused of engaging in the very sins they exist to eradicate, so when they are accused of complicity in irregularities, then everyone has every reason to be worried and feel betrayed. Kenyans will be forgiven if they begin to despair on the anti-corruption war,” ICPAK Chairman Benson Okundi (left) said.

The EACC was last week embroiled in internal wrangles over the suspension of the commission’s Deputy Chief Executive Officer Michael Mubea pending investigations into allegations of malpractice. He was reinstated on Friday after a reported truce between EACC Chairman Mumo Matemu and the secretariat.

As a result, the accountants now want an independent team constituted to probe corruption allegations against House committees.

“It is our considered opinion that the Public Accounts Committee and other parliamentary committees alleged to have been involved in acts of impropriety should be investigated, preferably by an independent body outside Parliament for the sake of independence and objectivity,” Mr Okundi said.

He said the independent team would submit its findings to Speaker Justin Muturi to safeguard the constitutional provisions on the independence of Parliament.

“We can’t trust MPs to get to the root cause of this issue. We want an independent team from professional bodies like ICPAK, Law Society of Kenya and others to investigate,” said Okundi.

Speaking in Mombasa Wednesday during the opening of the annual governance and ethics conference, Okundi said the office of the Auditor General should be given more powers to deal with corruption.

“We laud the President for issuing the Executive Order Number Six, which has called for a fresh audit of all public tenders in the last two years,” he said.

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