9 February 2013

Kenya: EACC Gets Tough On Buying of Votes

The Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission has unveiled a hotline number through which members of the public can report political bribery during the ongoing campaigns.

The commission said it will deploy plainclothes police officers at all political rallies to monitor those dishing out money to the public.

"As you know, the mood in the air is political campaigns, and this is a corrupt peak period. To mitigate this we have unveiled a hotline to a rapid response for members of the public to report bribery taking place on the spot," EACC vice chair Irene Keino said at press briefing yesterday at Integrity Centre Nairobi.

The hotline numbers are 0727285663 and 0733520641.

"Sting operations will be carried out and the matters will be treated like any other corruption offences and forwarded to the courts. Members of the public are also warned that the givers of bribes are as guilty as the receivers, so they should resist attempts of being bribed," she said.

The commission used the briefing to introduce former National Integration and Cohesion Commission commissioner Halakhe Dida Waqo who joined EACC as the body's first ever secretary/Cheif Executive after he was sworn in office late last month. On graft allegations related to the Constituency Development Fund,

Keino said the commission has received 818 corruption reports on misuse of CDF and 56 reports related to the National CDF Committee between January 2006 and October 2012.

Forty nine cases involve abuse of office, 568 on embezzlement , 34 on procurement irregularities, 15 on bribery and eight on fraud.

There are six cases on conflict of interest, four on fraudulent acquisition and disposal and three over unexplained wealth. Civil and labour issues are 17 and three respectively.

Cases related to administrative issues and criminal offenses under the penal code are 84 and 27 respectively.

"Just to breathe life in these numbers, we have charged the entire Lamu East CDF committee in a case involving procurement of tractors. In Ganze, Kilifi CDF manager is the court for abuse of office, Taita Taveta the CDF coordinator and tender committee are in court over alleged flawed procurement, Tana River in Garsen the CDF manager is court over bribery allegations," she said adding that in Rongo there is a case where Sh5.5 million was supposedly utilized in design and consultancy of Rongo District and that EACC investigations revealed that no such money was paid and that they had arraigned the Treasurer of the CDF in court.

Keino further said they will forge partnership with National Taxpayers Association and deploy more officers in the constituencies to monitor the usage of CDF.

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