CSO’s Statement ahead of the Governance and Anti-Corruption Presidential Summit

CSO’s Statement ahead of the Governance and Anti-Corruption
Presidential Summit,
State House, 18th October 2016
The Society for International Development and Transparency International-Kenya re-affirm their
commitment to fighting the cancer of corruption and improving the state of governance in
Kenya. Corruption is the singular threat to the constitution vision of our nation, our national
security and economy. 70% of all corruption is based on procurement. 20% of our public schools
are currently at risk of land grabbing. 54% of Kenyans still believe having a personal relationship
with a Public Officer guarantees them faster or better services and 46% believe a bribe is
necessary to be effectively served. We believe there are four issues that need urgent executive
Sealing Corruption in Public Procurement: The November 23rd Presidential directives
declared an end to corruption and wastage in public procurement and committed to institute
criminal proceedings and recover monies from both public officers and companies doing
business with Government. Recent investigative research into the Market Prices Index revealed
that the Public Procurement Oversight Authority (IPOA) currently sanctions the purchase of
medical drugs and equipment at 30-300% higher than market prices
(www.healthcorrupted.co.ke). The Office of the President needs to undertake a
comprehensive review of ministries and parastatals with a view to surcharging Public
Procurement Officers and other officials who have facilitated significant losses.
Reinvigorate and institute lifestyle audits: Our national value of integrity has been
emasculated by the reluctance to institute public lifestyle audits at the highest level of the
Cabinet and other State Officials. The current system intentionally does not take into account
information that is available in the banking industry, Auditor General or the Kenya Revenue
Authority. Cross-verification with other sources would reveal conflicts of interest as State
Officials and their families continue manipulate the procurement system to supply services to the
Government and/or represent clients that do so. The Office of the President must require all
State Officials to undertake credible lifestyle audits within a year and make them public for
Commence the Public Benefits Organisations Act (2013): After close to four years of conflict
between the PBO sector and the state, five amendments to control funding, impose excessive
executive control and destroy self-regulation, the new Devolution Cabinet Secretary commenced
the Act without any changes on September 9th. The action was warmly welcomed by Public
Benefits Organisations, Development Partners and Government officers. His leadership has
found common ground between the sector and the state.
These gains are being undermined by the NGO Coordination Bureau. Under the current Bureau
leadership, the sector has experienced arbitrary de-registrations, work-permit and registration
denials as well as incessant and unsubstantiated public attacks on the credibility of PBOs. The
Cabinet Secretary needs to be fully supported to return sanity to the management of the
PBO sector, institute new regulatory leadership and commence the PBO Act.
Break through the silence on Extra-Judicial Killings: Kenyans sense of their public safety has
been rocked by the numerous cases of unlawful police killings. Research by reputable public
benefits organizations and media houses suggest that up to 142 civilians and police-officers have
died since January 2016 (https://goo.gl/nxDf7k). Continued denial by the National Police Service
and Cabinet Secretaries fails to reassure Kenyans that this matter is being taken as seriously as it
should. Enactment of The Prevention of Torture Bill (2014) and the Coroners Services Bill of
(2015) by the Attorney General, greater independence and resourcing of the Internal Affairs Unit
and the official and comprehensive publication of police killings would go a long way to
reversing the culture of impunity within the police service. The Interior Ministry Cabinet
Secretary could assist this process by hosting a stakeholder dialogue to find partnership
strategies for reversing this trend.
Rapid consultation with Kenyans on twitter suggest that other issues that need addressing are
accelerating the appointment of women to Cabinet, Ministry and Parastatals in the line with the
constitutional vision of two thirds, transforming the current poor audit performance of Ministries
and the looming danger of Kshs 3.2 trillion debt burden. The gender question presents both legal
and political accountability questions. The continued disregard for the constitutional a third
gender principle casts doubt on our commitment to the rule of law.
We thank you for the opportunity to address these issues at this State House Summit on
Governance and Anti-Corruption and trust you will treat these matters with the urgency they
Irũngũ Houghton
Associate Director
Society for International Development
Samuel Kimeu
Executive Director
Transparency International Kenya
Contact: Caroline Gaita Njiiri | Email: cnjiiri@sidint.org | 0722 738 387


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