Kenyans ‘bloodthirsty, eager to bribe’, Mubea says on corruption war

EACC Deputy CEO Michael Mubea has scolded Kenyans for glorifying corruption suspects and escorting them to Integrity Centre for grilling.

'Huyu ni mtu wetu (directly translates to 'this is our person') is the trend, he noted on Wednesday, adding citizens are only keen on high profile prosecutions.

Mubea continued: "Why are Kenyans so eager to bribe? Kenyans are blood thirsty and whether I sit here or not, the conversation will not change. We want high profile people to be charged. That is what they believe."

"The people we are talking about … 'the high profiles' … on Sundays, they are in church giving hefty donations. Why don't the clergy preach against corruption? Why can't Kenyans decide that we are going to change?" Mubea also said during an interview on Citizen TV.

The EACC boss noted the corruption perception index is particularly high during election periods.

"People think there is a lot of corruption [during this period]," he said, but noted he did not not mean it was non-existent.

Kenya just concluded a tumultuous elections season that stretched from August 8 to November 28, 2017. The Opposition's Nasa coalition is still sieving through its alternatives as leader Raila Odinga believes Uhuru is an illegitimate ruler.

In 2017, Kenya was ranked one of the most corrupt countries in Africa and on the globe. Transparency International's corruption index placed the country 145th out of 176 countries with a score of 26.

The country attained a below average score in the Index in 2016, showing no improvement from 2014 rankings.

More on this: Kenya 4th most corrupt country in East Africa – TI index

To effectlively tackle the graft menace, the Chief Executive Officer said they will open more offices in counties. He added they need a higher budget to improve their capacity as the work load is heavy.

"The quality of investigations is good. The conviction rate is at 75 per cent. The workload is heavier than the capacity – there are 670 staff but this does not affect the quality," he said.

Mubea told the public that lack of fear of consequences is no justification to get involved in crime and that they must help the commission.

"All of us must make an effort to fight it. We need everyone to be involved in the fight against corruption."

A report by the EACC showed they recovered assets worth Sh256 million out of a possible Sh57.1 billion of public funds that was being pursued in the fiscal year ended June 2017. This was a 63.45 per cent decline from the previous year.

The figures from the annual report of activities only recorded a 0.44 per cent success rate in recovery of public funds and assets, a sharp indication of how far Kenya still has to go in bringing corrupt individuals to book in the war on graft.

In the financial year ended June 2016, the agency recovered Sh700.58 million out of Sh93.326 billion that was under probe, indicating a 0.75 per cent success rate when commissioner Sophia Lepuchirit signed off on the annual report following the exit of then chairman Philip Kinisu.

More on this: Score card: EACC recovers less than 1% of 'stolen' public cash

Read: Sh134m recovered, 125 cases cancelled after ex-CS Kamau ruling – EACC

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