Raila: Parliament biggest failure in graft war


Raila: Parliament biggest failure in graft war
Opposition leader Raila Odinga during an interview on Citizen TV on July 31, 2018.

In Summary

  • Odinga described the recent claims of blatant bribery in the National Assembly as a major shame to the country, adding that investigative agencies should expeditiously probe the allegations.
  • The former prime minister said all arms of the government; the Legislature, Judiciary and Executive must pull in the same direction if the corruption networks are to be defeated.
  • National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi has since invited the EACC to investigate allegations that MPs were bribed to shoot down the contraband sugar probe report last Thursday.

Opposition leader Raila Odinga has criticised the National Assembly, terming it as the “weakest link” in the ongoing war against impunity and corruption in the country.

In a press statement issued on Sunday, Odinga described the recent claims of blatant bribery in the National Assembly as a major shame to the country, adding that investigative agencies should expeditiously probe the allegations.

“The public currently feels cheated by Parliament, which has become the weakest link in this war, with reports of money changing hands for adoption or rejection of reports. This is a major shame to the nation and deserves urgent and thorough investigation by multi-agency team from the EACC, DPP and DCI,” said Odinga.

National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi has since invited the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) to investigate allegations that MPs were bribed to shoot down the contraband sugar probe report last Thursday.

The former prime minister said all arms of the government; the Legislature, Judiciary and Executive must pull in the same direction if the corruption networks are to be defeated.

Odinga commended the government for the ongoing purge on graft, attributing its apparent momentum to the Building Bridges initiative.

“This crackdown and the support by the public were unthinkable at the start of this year with Kenya torn down the middle by ethnic politics, elections and impunity until the MoU in the Building Bridges to a New Kenyan Nation happened with a very clear agenda on how to address our ages old problems,” he said.

“The political atmosphere has enabled us to look at our problems minus the usual ethnic lenses. Attempts by suspects to appeal to their ethnic bases have therefore generated near zero support.”

Odinga, however, noted that as the crackdown continues, focus should also be channeled towards recovery of assets that were acquired from the proceeds of corruption and impunity.

“The Asset Recovery Agency must move out of boardrooms and be seen to be acting publicly in unison with the Director of Public Prosecutions, the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission and the Directorate of Criminal Investigations.

“The Asset Recovery Agency must move with speed and ensure that the suspects, both those out on bail and the ones facing arrest, do not hide their ill-gotten wealth or access and use them to undermine justice and frustrate the war on corruption and impunity,” he said.

Mr. Odinga noted that depriving corrupt actors of ill-gotten wealth and returning it to the public will support development and economic growth as well as restore confidence in the current crackdown.

“Corruption must be made a painful crime,” he said.

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