Convictions necessary war on graft

We, in the civil society welcome the Presidential statement that the scale and prevalence of corruption is a threat to the constitutional promise, national security and the economy.

17 days ago, we called for a cabinet reshuffle, application of life-style audits across the cabinet and their families and thorough oversight of procurement across all ministries within 30 days. We also called for the release and full implementation of the report of the Presidential taskforce set up to review the legal, policy and institutional framework for fighting Corruption in Kenya.

We fully support the announcement of a business code of ethics. This should cover both land acquisition and procurement. One in five of our public schools are threatened by land-grabbing while 60 per cent of all corruption is procurement based.

The President needs to also address the urgent need for the Registrar of Companies to publicly disclose the names of all Directors of registered companies within 24 hours of a citizen's request.

The resignation of Cabinet Secretary Anne Waiguru should pave way for the reshuffle of the cabinet. It is unsustainable for the country to be governed by a third of the Cabinet. We also urge the president to dismiss all Cabinet Secretaries cited in corruption and who have since stepped aside.

We equally call on the President to institute life-style audits of existing and prospective Cabinet Secretaries, senior officials and their families and make them public prior to appointing them and/or submitting their names to the National Assembly for approval. Failure to do this will prolong and replicate the crisis we are currently facing.

With over 350 cases of corruption and economic crimes in our courts, we desperately need the judiciary to institute special courts to handle corruption and economic crimes cases.

The Chief Justice must issue guidelines on bail amounts that will ensure that bail amounts set by courts are commensurate with the seriousness of the cases in question and guidelines to ensure that Magistrates and Judges do not issue unwarranted pre-emptory orders in favour of the accused that may be seen to defeat the pursuit of justice for the people of Kenya. Five Governors have exercised this loophole recently.

Until we have convictions, the freezing and recovery of assets of all suspects, the powerful words uttered by the President will be empty and meaningless.

On our part, we call on Public Benefits Organisations and citizens to make this war against corruption personal, undertake a unifying campaign that touches our schools, streets, villages and towns.

We, as Kenyans Citizens, need to make #KataaHiyo a rallying cry and save our beloved nation.

Corruption is not impersonal. Those who abuse public office, their accomplices in the private sector and the corrupt are responsible for the recent death by neglect of Alex Madaga, Elizabeth Akala and countless others in our public hospitals.

Our public health, security and education services are not reaching millions of Kenyans due to corruption. We acknowledge the President for stating this.

We ask County Governments and Assemblies to also likewise declare their commitment to ending corruption in all its forms at the County level.