29 January 2013

Kenya: Aspirants Must Declare Wealth to EACC

Photo: Vikingman/Flickr
Ethics and Anti Corruption Commission Centre.

Nairobi — All aspirants seeking to be elected into public office must declare their wealth to the Ethics and Anti Corruption Commission (EACC).

Vice chairperson Irene Keino said EACC had already written to the individuals asking them to state all their possessions to ensure integrity and transparency.

She explained that the EACC had sent them wealth declaration forms that would be kept in a data base to help investigate any corrupt officials.

Narc Kenya presidential candidate Martha Karua is the only politician who has publicly declared her wealth, placing it at Sh66 million.

"We sent the forms to the Speaker but their contents cannot be revealed. I just decided to share mine with the public so that Kenyans are able to question it if it seems too much," she said mid this month.

"All aspirants must fill in these forms, whether they are vying for the presidency, running mate, the gubernatorial seat, the senate, Member of Parliament, county or woman representative," said Keino.

"We are going to verify this information because we want to create a data base for this election and future ones because we want to be ready for them," she added.

Members of the 10th Parliament already declared their wealth but the details are kept under the custody of the Speaker of the National Assembly. The law does not require they be made public.

Keino also revealed that the anti corruption watchdog would closely work with the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) to lock out persons seeking elective posts but had questionable wealth.

She added that the law stated that those found culpable would not be allowed to seek any elective or appointive posts for up to 10 years.

"Right now we might not be able to verify all the complaints because of the timelines but even if you get a nomination certificate or you get into office and then we discover that you are guilty we will forward the report to the Director of Public Prosecutions," she said.

She noted that the commission had received numerous complaints on the misuse of public monies including the Constituency Development Funds (CDF) that would all be investigated.

"We have in the last one year alone revised and processed over 200 reports touching on CDF misuse and irregularities across the country. This points out to the possibility that almost every constituency has something to complain about," she observed.

She further stressed the need for facilitating transparency noting that the new governance structures risked creating a breeding ground for corruption.

Keino noted the need to tighten all loopholes in the systems so as to ensure that all monies meant for sustained development reached their target goals.

"I can bet that corrupt networks are readying for the devolved governments and we must all be on the lookout to keep them at bay," she said.

"Whenever there are resources to be used corruption and other scandals are bound to be plenty," argued Keino.

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