13 years after Katiba 2010 – Still Nothing to smile about in the war against graft

As the Constitution of Kenya marks 13 years since its promulgation on 27th August 2010, this year also marks the 20th anniversary of the adoption and enactment of many anti-corruption legal instruments including, the United Nations Convention against Corruption, the African Union Convention on Preventing and Combating Corruption and the premier law on anti-corruption in Kenya, the Anti-Corruption and Economic Crimes Act 2003. The premier anti-corruption agency then referred to as the Kenya Anti-Corruption Commission was also established in 2003 and transitioned into the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission established under the 2010 Constitution. Despite such a progressive anti-corruption legislative framework in Katiba 2010 supportive legal instruments, Kenya is yet to witness substantive and genuine efforts to curb corruption.

First, there have been numerous attempts to undermine and slow down the progress that has been made to strengthen the fight against corruption. Proposed amendments to sections 45(2) (b) and (c) of ACECA that specifically address offences related to non-compliance with procurement guidelines and the implementation of unplanned projects is one such attempt at eroding the gains made. According to EACC, procurement-related graft cases have been among the most litigated provisions in anti-corruption offences and any attempts at amending these provisions would result in weakening enforcement mechanisms that have been used successfully to prosecute corrupt public officials.

Another attempt at weakening anti-corruption laws is the proposed Amendment to the Anti-Corruption and Economic Crimes Act, 2003 to delete Section 64 of the Act providing for the disqualification of persons convicted of corruption or economic crimes from being elected or appointed as public officers. This amendment offends the national values and principles of governance espoused under the Constitution as well as Chapter Six on Leadership and Integrity. This proposed amendment is inconsistent with the Constitution of Kenya and offends several constitutional provisions on the National Values and Principles of Governance Principles of Leadership and Integrity, and requirements on qualifications for election as a Member of Parliament and county assembly respectively among many other provisions in law that would be inconsistent with the proposed amendment.

These attempts seek to create legal loopholes that could potentially shield individuals accused of corruption or violating the principles of integrity from facing the consequences of their actions. Such actions are a clear departure from the fundamental principles that the Constitution seeks to promote. Amending laws to protect individuals accused of corruption or ethical breaches erodes public trust in the government and its commitment to fighting corruption. It sends a message that those in power can manipulate the legal system to evade accountability, thereby creating a culture of impunity that undermines the rule of law.

Any attempt to dilute or circumvent measures designed to hold corrupt individuals accountable undermines the efforts of oversight and enforcement institutions such as the Office of the Auditor General, the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC), the National Police Service, Asset Recovery Agency, the Director of Public Prosecutions and the Judiciary among many other institutions promoting the rule of law. Non-state actors including the media, Civil Society Organizations, Religious groups and the private sector have also been making significant contributions towards the progress made in combating this societal menace.

Kenya is a signatory to various international conventions that emphasize the importance of combating corruption and promoting good governance. The United Nations Convention Against Corruption encourages states to consider implementing measures relating to the disqualification or removal of individuals convicted of corruption from public office. The African Union Convention on Preventing and Combating Corruption also requires state parties to adopt measures to hold individuals holding public office to be accountable for corruption offences, including requiring states to establish and promote the use of codes of conduct for public officials and promote ethics. Amending laws to protect corrupt individuals not only contradicts these commitments but also damages Kenya’s reputation on the global stage.

Kenya’s Constitution, with its emphasis on leadership integrity, accountability, and transparency, is a beacon of hope for a nation seeking to achieve equitable and sustainable development. Any attempt to dilute or amend laws that protect individuals accused of corruption or ethical breaches jeopardizes the progress made and undermines the foundational principles that underpin Kenya’s democratic governance.

It is essential for the government, civil society, and citizens to remain vigilant and hold those in power accountable for their actions. Safeguarding the integrity of Kenya’s institutions and ensuring the enforcement of Chapter Six among other Constitutional provisions is not just a legal obligation, it is a moral imperative that will determine the future prosperity and progress of the nation. To protect Kenya’s integrity, we must stand united against attempts to undermine the very foundations of our constitutional democracy.

By Titus Gitonga, Programme Coordinator, Transparency International Kenya (TI-Kenya)


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *



Lucky Philomena Mbaye

Project Assistant, Citizen Demand and Oversight

Philomena is a lawyer, currently undertaking the Advocates Training Program at the Kenya School of Law, following her attainment of a Bachelor’s Degree in Law (LL. B) from the University of Nairobi. She is also a Certified Professional Mediator (CPM).

With a keen interest in Human Rights, Policy, Democracy, and Governance, she is deeply invested in promoting equitable legal practices and advocating for social justice. Her professional journey includes valuable experiences from (Coulson Harney LLP) Bowmans Law and ENS Africa, where she developed a solid understanding of legal intricacies and demonstrated proficiency in navigating complex legal landscapes. Beyond her legal pursuits, Philomena actively engages in community service through volunteer work with local CSOs, aiming to extend her impact beyond the legal sphere and contribute meaningfully to societal progress.

Thomas Juma

Project Assistant, North-Rift Region

Thomas is a dynamic professional with a wide range of experience and skills in community mobilization, capacity development in governance, media engagement, networking and partnership development. In his new role, he shall be responsible for offering support to the North Rift Regional Office to ensure successful implementation of the projects and assisting in logistical tasks, data collection and documentation. Thomas holds a diploma in public relations, marketing and advertising from ICS college, diploma in project planning and NGO management from Cambridge universal college and diploma in film and television production from Alphax college.

Emily Atieno

Procurement Officer

Emily is a dynamic professional with a diverse range of experience and skills in asset management, vendor relations, process improvement, event management, procurement process and procedures, admin management, communication and interpersonal skills. In her role, she is responsible for all the procurement processes and procedures towards achieving the TI-Kenya’s strategic plan. Emily holds a Bachelor of Commerce from Africa Nazarene University. She is also a holder of certificate in facilitation skills and Diploma in Business Management.

George Kiondo

Finance and Investments Manager

George is a dynamic professional with a diverse range of experience and skills in financial and project management, couching and mentoring, monitoring and evaluation, financial reporting and procurement amongst others.

In his new role, is responsible for overseeing the work of finance, investments and business development towards achieving the TI-Kenya’s strategic plan.

George holds a Bachelor of Science in International Business Administration from USIU, a Masters of Business Administration from the African Nazarene University, CPA-K and CPS-K qualifications from Strathmore Business School.

Linet Mukhula

Project Officer, Natural Resources and Climate Governance - Land, Extractives and Energy

Linet is a highly dynamic and versatile professional with extensive experience across various domains. She possesses a comprehensive skill set essential for effective project and organizational management. This includes expertise in Program Management and Reporting, ensuring strategic initiatives are designed and implemented to meet objectives with accurate reporting on outcomes. She excels in Coordination and Relationship Management, forging strong connections with stakeholders to drive collaboration and achieve shared goals.

She is responsible for implementing governance projects and working with communities and government with an emphasis on Land, Extractives and Energy towards achieving the TI-Kenya’s strategic plan.

Linet holds a Bachelor of Environmental Studies (Community Development from Kenyatta University with a Diploma in Public Relations Management and Advance Certificate in Business Management from the Kenya Institute of Management. She’s currently pursuing a Master of Arts in Development Studies (Economic Planning)- thesis level at the Management University of Africa.

Anno Annet Andisi

Intern, North-Rift Region

Annet is a dynamic professional with a diverse range of experience and skills in community engagement and advocacy, training, strategy and policy development as well as project management.

She is responsible for offering support to the North Rift Regional Office to ensure the successful implementation of the projects and documenting of legal aid cases for walk-in and call-in clients towards achieving the TI-Kenya’s strategic plan.

Annet holds a Bachelor of Bachelor of Political science and Public administration from Kisii University.

Jane Kingori

Grants Manager, USAID USAWA Program

Jane is a finance and grants specialist with a Master of Science in Organizational Development, Bachelor of Commerce in Finance and CPA (K). She has over 15 years’ of experience in strengthening organizations ‘capacities for sustainable program delivery through integration of best grants and financial management practices and compliance with different donor rules and regulations including USAID, UKAID, DANIDA, GCERF, SIDA and EU among others. She has served as the grants management technical lead at Faith To Action Network and Act Change Transform.