A protest march organised in Nairobi last week by civil society organisations demanding action against runaway corruption in government was brutally repressed by the police. Besides a series of multi-million-dollar scandals recently unearthed in Kenya, the Auditor General’s report for 2015 says only 1% of the national budget was properly accounted for.
3 November, 2016, Nairobi We, the civil society of Kenya, express our deep concern and consternation for the worrying escalation of mega-corruption scandals in Kenya in the recent past with little or no consequences for perpetrators, many of whom have been heavily mentioned in a series of scandals and continue to unashamedly occupy, and therefore bring dishonour, to public office. We rebuke in the strongest terms possible, the culture of impunity that continues to be unapologetically entrenched owing to an apparent lack of political will to address mega-corruption. 
Of particular concern to us is the theft of colossal amounts of money from the Exchequer most of which was initially allocated for the delivery of basic services to citizens. This undoubtedly directly impacts on economic and social rights of citizens as well as their right to lead a life of dignity.
Mr. President, in addition to flawed and opaque procurement processes, recent scandals have been characterised by gross imprudence in expenditure as well as the failure by government ministries and departments to provide the necessary supporting documents for monies spent.
The reported procurement of 100 container clinics by the Ministry of Health at a cost of 10 million shillings each is a perfect case of lack of financial prudence and deliberate waste of public resources by those we have been bestowed the power to manage these resources on our behalf. Worryingly, in his report of the financial year ending 2015, the Auditor General revealed that only 1% of public expenditure was accounted for. Further to this, and more upsetting, is the revelation that Kenya loses at least Sh600 billion annually in corrupt dealings.
Mr. President, it is extremely foolhardy for your office to continue to publicly declare its intention to decisively deal with graft while at the same time show dismal results from this commitment. Further, the recent declaration during the anti-corruption summit that your office has so far done all it could and that the failure to stem graft was occasioned by inaction by independent offices responsible for fighting grant, was indeed an admission of failure on the part of your esteemed office.
Additionally, your admission in the same forum of your office’s helplessness in addressing corruption has to a large extent eroded the confidence of the public in the goodwill of the presidency to evoke section 10, 131 and 132 of the Constitution for the protection of the rule of law, accountability, transparency, good governance, human rights and fundamental freedoms of citizens. Critical also is Article 129(b) which provides that the Executive Authority shall be exercised in a manner compatible with the principle of service to the people, and for their well-being and benefit.
Mr. President, it is known to you (or ought to be known to you) that most of those implicated in corruption are senior officials within your government, a significant number of whom you have powers to fire without reference to any other authority. It is extremely hypocritical of you to seem to blame other organs of State for promoting corruption when you have failed to take decisive action against publicly well known senior officers, whom you hired and have power to hire.
This is a failure by you to honour the edict of Article 131 to safeguard the Constitution and the sovereignty of Kenya. It is also a failure to discharge the promise you made to the Kenyan people through the Oath of Office you took when you were sworn to be president. Mr. President by superintending a government that abets runaway corruption, you too, are in violation of the Constitution and the law!
Based on the foregoing, we hereby demand from you and your government:
- Immediate sacking of state and public officers within the Executive (for whom you have powers to dismiss) adversely mentioned in corruption scandals;
- Immediately leading the process of making public all the wealth declaration forms among the state and public officers.
- Initiating legal process of freezing of bank accounts of all those implicated in grand corruption scandals pending investigations;
- Immediately initiate a process of recovering all stolen public funds and property. This should go as far back as is judicially possible to cover all past corruption activities since independence;
- Instantaneously stop and recover salaries paid illegally to officers who have been suspended or removed from public service on graft allegations.
- Expeditiously implement recommendations of Auditor General’s reports;
- Ensure protection and adequate resourcing of the Auditor General’s office and other independent offices to enable them to effectively discharge its mandate;
- Ensure that public money is spent in a prudent and responsible way by cutting down on the aggravating extravagance and recklessness witnessed during the last four years.
- Ensure protection of all whistleblowers for the corruption scandals that have already been reported. We also demand reward of whistleblowers to the tune of at least 20% of stolen funds recovered;
- Fully operationalize the Campaign Financing Act. All political aspirants must publicly declare all sources of their campaign funds;
- Ensure that the annual State of the Nation reports include a report on corruption and how much of state resources lost through past corruption scandals have been recovered;
- Ensure open advertising and recruitment of Board members and staff of government departments and parastatals as well as chairpersons of parastatal boards;
- Ensure that tax returns for companies and individuals implicated in grand corruption scandals be released for public scrutiny by the Kenya Revenue Authority; and
- Deepen openness and accountability, including genuine public participation in governance, especially, in financial matters.
Davis Malombe, Deputy Executive Director; Kenya Human Rights Commission, [email protected]; +254-020-2044545; +254-020-2106709
Catherine Kamatu, Communications Advisor, Kenya Human Rights Commission, [email protected]; 0728 815 266
- Kenya Human Rights Commission
- Pawa 254
- Inter-Religious Council of Kenya
- Transparency International
- Katiba Institute
- Sauti Ya Wanjiku
- Civil Society Reference Group
 This Petition is presented in fulfilment of our duties as citizens under Article 3 of the Constitution to protect and defend the constitution, under Article 10 to ensure accountability transparency and good governance. It is presented as a civic action under Article 37 which gives us the right to present petition to public authorities. It is also submitted pursuant to Articles 35, 73, 129 (a) and 201 that provide for the right to access information held by the state; enhancement of integrity and selfless service in state affairs; an understanding that executive authority derives from the people of Kenya; and that there shall be openness and accountability in the management of public finance, respectively.
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