By Samuel Kimeu
The National Assembly recently passed amendments to the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) Act providing for the vacation from office by the EACC Secretary and his Deputy and recruitment of the EACC Commissioners to be directly conducted by the Public Service Commission among other proposals.
Nairobi, Kenya – 10th July, 2015: Transparency International Kenya appreciates the progress made by the National Assembly towards restructuring the anti-corruption legal and institutional framework, particularly in making amendments to the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) Act.
With Kenya allocating over Ksh 291 billion to counties in the 2015/2016 financial year coupled with the reports that resources are not being applied as they should, the importance of civilian oversight is becoming clearer by the day.
TI-Kenya’s Anne Wagacha spoke to The Institute of Social Accountability, National Coordinator, Wanjiru Gikonyo about her organisation’s experience with civilian oversight in Kenya.
What is civilian oversight?
Civilian oversight refers to measures that allow citizens to engage and supervise operations of government and public institutions.
Article 1 of the Constitution of Kenya on the sovereignty of the people provides that all sovereign power belomgs to the people of Kenya and shall be exercised in accordance with the Constitution; and that the people may exercise their sovereign power either directly or through their democratically elected representatives.
The best legal framework that gives the opportunity for civilian oversight is one that provides for access to information, public participation as well as reporting violations, lobbying and citizen advocacy.
In August 2010, Kenya promulgated a new constitution that completely changed its governance structure to give room for civilian oversight. The constitution as the supreme law of Kenya, contains various Chapters and Articles likely to chart a more accountable and all-inclusive approach in the operations of government and public administration.
Article 1 of the Constitution of Kenya 2010 states that all sovereign power belongs to the people of Kenya and may be exercised either directly or indirectly through elected representatives and the institutions created by the constitution.
The constitution further creates safeguards to the delegated authority to ensure that the same is not abused and in the event the abuse occurs, the constitution provides appropriate sanctions.
Advocacy and Legal Advisory Center (ALAC) Eldoret and the North Rift Coalition for Good Governance (NRCGG) took the integrity message to the streets of Eldoret town using a cleanup exercise dubbed The Integrity Cleanup.
Transparency International Kenya conducted public forums on political, policy and administrative reforms in the basic education sector.
Held in April 2015, the forums targeted parents of school going children, youth acting as agents to disseminate information within their communities, families,County Government officials and education stakeholders: Civil Society Organizations, Ministry of Education, churches, union members.
Nairobi, Kenya: 2nd July, 2015 - 59% of Kenyans regard corruption as the biggest threat to devolution in Kenya according to the findings of an opinion poll conducted by Transparency International Kenya.
The study, Pulling together to move forward: A national opinion poll on devolution and governance in Kenya, also found that more Kenyans feel that corruption is the most pressing problem county governments should address, with 25% identifying it as a major problem up from 9% in 2014. Concern on corruption has also increased significantly at national level, with 28% highlighting it as the most pressing problem up from 10% last year. Insecurity was cited as the most pressing problem at national level by 32% of the respondents, down from 52% in 2014.
In the recent past, high profile cases involving land governance problems have been thrust into the public domain. These include the case involving the grabbing of a playground belonging to Lang’ata Road Primary School in Nairobi and the tussle over a 134 acre piece of land in Karen.
Land ownership and use have been a great source of conflict among communities and even families in Kenya, a situation exacerbated by corruption.
Corruption in the land sector in Kenya the lands sector has consistently ranked as one of the most bribery prone sectors in Kenya coming in at number two in the East African Bribery Index 2014 with a score of 55 on an aggregate index of 0 to 100, with score of 100 being the worst score.
What factors propel corruption in land administration and what strategies can be put in place to promote accountability and transparency in land governance? In this issue, we delve into land governance in Kenya and the corruption question.