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Saturday, 26 September 2009


Although widely derided as an expensive toothless bulldog – and even as a fig leaf for the corrupt – the Kenya Anti Corruption Commission (KACC) is Kenya’s premiere statutory anti-corruption agency recognized as such by the United Nations Convention against Corruption and the African Union. It has been in operation since 2004 and has investigated among many other pending mega corruption Scandals; Goldenberg, Pending Bills, Land and public resource grabbing including Mau forest and Woodley estates, Anglo Leasing, Triton, the 2008-9 Kenya Maize Scandal, the Global Fund, NSSF, Euro Bank, Charterhouse Bank, the National Hospital Insurance Fund, the international tracing of assets of Moi regime figures a.k.a. the Kroll & Associates KTM Report, fraud in local authorities and false expense claims by scores of Public Officers including Members of Parliament.

We are not fans of the KACC and are indeed viewed by KACC as among its harshest critics because repeatedly over the last four years we have pointed out its flawed strategy and its exaggerated claims of success in asset recoverys. Nevertheless, we are convinced that throwing the baby out with the bathwater cannot be the solution for dealing with Executive impunity in the matter of President Kibaki’s Gazette Notice “re-appointment” of the Directorate of the KACC.

Among those condemning the President’s Gazette Notice, as illegal for side stepping the advice and recommendation of both the KACC’s Advisory board and the Nation Assembly, are the immediate former Chairman of the Parliamentary Committee for Justice, Paul Muite, a former chairman of the KACC Advisory Board, Ahmednassir Abdullahi and the former Minister for Justice and Constituional Affairs, Martha Karua.

The Gazette Notice was apparently withheld from parliamentarians for days and was only produced after a motion of Adjournment by the Government had been roundly defeated by a back and front bench rebellion. The National Assembly now appears ready to vote not only for the rescission of the Gazette Notice but to go further to amend the Anti Corruption and Economic Crimes Act and starve the KACC of financial resources and operational autonomy.

Parliament could be making an innocent mistake! We urge Parliament to consider that KACC as it faces its uncertain future this afternoon during debate in the National Assembly REMAINS IN POSSESSION OF A GREAT DEAL OF EVIDENCE OF GRAND CORRUPTION IN KENYA. We are surprised that no one in Government or elsewhere is voicing any concern about the fate of the evidence and open case files of the KACC should Parliament draw the knife against KACC. Past experience suggests that if the need arises the evidence and case files of the KACC will be handed over to either the Attorney General or the Minister for Justice and Constitutional Affairs. In December 2000, a court ruling (Stephen Mwai Gachiengo & Albert Muthee Kahuria v. Republic, Misc. Application No. 302 of 2000) declared that the Kenya Anti Corruption Authority (KACC’s predecessor) was unconstitutional and it took 4 years to reestablish an official anti-corruption agency. During this period all files of the KACA were with the Attorney General and the Kenya Police and there was no forward movement at all on the fight against corruption - the investigations and pending prosecutions stalled completely. Those with longer memories will recall the Attorney General’s promise on December 29th 2000, soon after the demise of KACA, that all the cases that had been instituted by KACA and which at that time were pending in court would continue; that all investigations that were commenced by KACA would be finalised. Those with foresight should expect similar statements should the KACC suffer a similar fate today.


Grand corruption scandals occur frequently in Kenya but since the 1980s the scale of grand corruption scandals escalated. What follows is a list of some of the major grand corruption scandals and the potential loss – worth half a trillion shillings whose trails may go cold if Parliament’s ill advised broad-sweep action against KACC succeeds. None of them have been seriously pursued despite the plethora of available evidence for prosecutions and complete asset recovery. Close KACC carelessly and risk losing all the following evidence of grand corruption in Kenya; and guaranteeing the perpetrators impunity for the foreseeable future, and breathing space to cover their tracks.


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