Hillary Mageka @hillarymageka
The multi-agency team on corruption and economic crimes has broken its silence on the war on corruption, saying no individual or community is being targeted in the fight that has implicated high-profile State officers.
In an indirect reference to Deputy President William Ruto, the agencies denied media allegations that the renewed fight on corruption is aimed at derailing the construction of mega projects in Rift Valley and stifling Ruto’s 2022 presidential ambition.
“The multi-agency team is not political,” Attorney General Kihara Kariuki told Senate Justice, Legal Affairs and Human rights committee yesterday on behalf on the consortium.
The team includes the Office of the Attorney General, Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC), Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI), Assets Recovery Agency and the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (ODDP).
“No individual or community is being targeted as our work is purely to safeguard the resources and assets of the country,” added Kariuki.
Some leaders allied to Ruto have recently attacked President Uhuru Kenyatta, claiming the fight against graft was being criminalised to derail major projects in the DP’s bedrock to scuttle his 2022 presidential ambitions.
Nandi Governor Stephen Sang and MPs Oscar Sudi (Kapseret) and Caleb Kositany (Soy), without backing their claims with any evidence, recently said the anti-corruption fight was no longer objective but had been weaponised to deny some regions major development projects.
However, Kariuki dismissed the assertions and advised political leaders to be responsible citizens as graft affects every member of the society.
The government chief legal adviser spoke when he appeared before the committee, led by Senator Samson Cherargei (Nandi), along other State agencies to give a report on the reform of Penal and Criminal Procedure Laws to enhance intelligence gathering, investigation, and prosecutions, asset tracing, freezing and recovery of proceeds of crime.
Kariuki urged leaders not to politicize the war on corruption. DPP Noordin Haji said: “I want to assure this committee that we are not targeting any community or individual, we are safeguarding the interest of our beloved country.”
Earlier, Makueni Senator Mutula Kilonzo Junior accused the investigative agencies of using the media to probe and indict graft suspects. He queried why State agencies had matters under investigations being highlighted prominently in the media. But Haji said the press is a vital tool and partner in the fight against graft, which cannot be ignored.