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Lands ministry ‘leading in fraud’

NYANZA
By RAWLINGS OTIENO | September 20th 2013
 Attorney-General Githu Muigai (left), Busia Senator Amos Wako (centre) and Commission of Administrative Justice chairman Otiende Amollo. PHOTO: BEVERLYNE MUSILI/STANDARD

By RAWLINGS OTIENO

The Commission of Administrative Justice (CAJ) has named the Ministry of Lands as the government office leading in fraud and abuse.

Commission chair Otiende Amollo said the highest number of complaints had been lodged against Lands ministry.

The ministry is leading with 11 per cent followed closely by the Kenya Police with 9 per cent and thirdly the Judiciary with 8.5 per cent.

“Most of the cases being brought to us are from the Lands registry, the Police and the Judiciary but we are working hard to review the complaints and where applicable, take action,” said Amollo.

Speaking during the opening of the first African Colloquium of African Ombudsmen, Amollo noted that most government officers have been resisting change in line with the new Constitution, with some even opposing their jurisdiction in the court.

The ombudsman said that last year alone, they received and handled more than 4,000 cases and this year the number was expected to double since more Kenyans have become aware of the services they render.

He said that the relationship between the ombudsman and the courts was complementary, flowing from their respective mandates. They both form part of the institutional framework of the administrative justice system.

Senate Speaker Ekwe Ethuro said the government must appreciate the role of the ombudsman since efficient public service delivery is a shared interest.

 “The co-operation should naturally extend to not only functional independence and autonomy, but also making sure that ombudsman institutions are well-oiled financially so that they can successfully carry out their mandate,” said Ethuro.

 In a speech read on his behalf by the Senate Committee on Human Rights and Busia Senator Amos Wako, Ethuro noted that the ombudsman should be cushioned not just by having an elaborate law, but also by creating a conducive environment to enable it deliver on its mandate.

“As you may be aware, the ombudsman has also received resistance from public institutions, some of which have not accepted the oversight role of the ombudsman in the delivery of services,” he said.

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