Kenya’s anti-graft commission arrests dozens on corruption charges

 President Uhuru Kenyatta and his government are struggling to rid the country of endemic corruption

President Uhuru Kenyatta and his government are struggling to rid the country of endemic corruption

In a major show of force, Kenya’s Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission has arrested more than 20 government officials on corruption related charges.

This anti-corruption operation is one the biggest since the commission’s inception three years ago. The arrested officials include three Managing Directors of government parastatals.

The three top executives are Kenya Pipeline Company managing director (on suspension) Charles Tanui, Silas Masinde Simiyu of Geothermal Development Company (GDC) and Water Conservation and Pipeline Corporation’s Evans Ngibuini.

The  officials also include a county governor and procurement directors in many government ministries and departments. The Kenyan government is struggling with ridding itself of the scourge of corruption that costs taxpayers million and million of dollars annually.

Commission leaders say all the arrested officials and those still at large will be produced to the courts as they answer charges levelled against them.

This latest anti-corruption sweep comes at a time when President Uhuru Kenyatta is under enormous pressure to sack his Devolution Cabinet Secretary Anne Waiguru following the alleged disappearance of nearly Ksh 800 million from the ministry’s coffers.

Kenya’s out of control corruption and graft last week prompted 11 heads of diplomatic missions in the country to announce their countries intend to sanction all public officials implicated in corruption cases in bid to dissuade government officials from engaging in the vice.

The diplomats led by US Ambassador to Kenya, Robert Godec, and the British High Commissioner, Christian Turner indicated the 11 countries were ready to ban implicated government officials and to freeze their assets and wealth in foreign capitals.

“We do not issue visas if individuals are involved in graft or corruption,” Ambassador Godec said adding the US and countries have been concerned about corruption in Kenya for some time.

Kenyatta furious at diplomat’s ‘meddling’

Just last week, President Kenyatta convened his government in a crisis meeting to discuss the issue that has tarnished Kenya’s image on the international stage. But in a statement Sunday, President Kenyatta lashed at the West for injecting itself in Kenya’s internal affairs.

“That is why we are telling those people (western diplomats) who are trying to incite Kenyans on issues that are long forgotten that we are tired of their interference,” Kenyatta said adding “instead of disturbing us, they should go to resolve the conflicts in Syria and Iraq and give us room to move our country forward.”