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Jubilee administration powerless as graft cases in Kenya rise

By Daniel Wesangula | November 1st 2015

NAIROBI: The Jubilee administration finds itself in the crosshairs of mega corruption allegations and a possible crisis of confidence midway through its first term. The uncertainty demonstrated by a handpicked Cabinet previously thought to be apolitical has further highlighted the loss that the government of Kenya is suffering as a result of graft.

Perhaps the pattern of massive graft around the Executive was set long before Uhuru Kenyatta was sworn in as President; months before the Kasarani swearing-in when the organisation entrusted with the Kenyan vote decided not to operate above board.

In April this year, the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) was under pressure to pay over Sh1.5 billion to a supplier who failed to deliver election kits. Reports then indicated that brokers and politicians had infiltrated both the IEBC and Treasury to force through a payment for goods that were never delivered in the run-up to the election.

An audit report for the 2013 elections indicate that payment was being sought for the supply of 34,000 election kits while only 5,000 had been delivered by the contracted company.

Early this year, President Uhuru Kenyatta, in a moment of exasperation, told the nation that his own office could not free itself from the tentacles of graft. Seemingly perturbed by wanton looting, Kenyatta issued an executive order in a bid to stop his officers from indulging in theft.

In the order, Uhuru said that the conduct of some State and public officers fell far short of the demands of the Constitution and the expectations of Kenyans.

But still, it seemed, graft continued unabated.

Soon, several key individuals of his Cabinet were relieved of their duties on corruption allegations. The Cabinet Secretaries relieved of their duties were Michael Kamau, Charity Ngilu, Felix Kosgey, Kazungu Kambi and Davis Chirchir. None of them is yet to return to office.

Then came the Kenya Airports Authority saga. At a function at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, a visibly miffed president queried in public why the airports authority was spending Sh11 million on five buses every month. The debacle led to the suspension of several top executives at the authority.  

But among the biggest financial scams of this government has been the loss of more than Sh791 million shillings through dubious and overpriced construction tenders at the National Youth Service.

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