Ms. Anastasia keenly following proceedings at the Convention.
“Nothing will unlock Africa’s economic potential more than ending the cancer of corruption.” – President Barrack Obama in his African Union address, Addis Ababa Ethiopia.
These profound words from the President Barrack Obama echoed the platform on which the third day of the Conference of the State Parties to the United Nations Convention against Corruption began. Most speakers from the state parties’ delegations touched on eliminating corruption as crucial for sustainable development. The day saw H.E. Mr. Michael Oyugi who is the permanent representative of the Republic of Kenya to the United Nations (Vienna) deliver a statement on the progress made by the country in combating corruption. This was in the background of a week that is seeing intensified public outrage in the country as details emerged of allegations of scandals regarding government corruption and misuse of public funds via spending and debt. The Newyork times on this very day in an article by Jeffery Gettleman titled “An anticorruption plea – Please Just Steal a Little.” This according to the article is a desperate plea by Boniface Wanyama Wekesa, a security guard, who was looking at a front-page story in the dailies about the $85 pens corruption scandal rocking the government.
The clarion call for this convention is however saying #NoToCorruption in totality. Mr.Oyugi cited that progress has been made through the establishment of the Huduma programme with centres that provide one stop shop approach in reforming service delivery in Kenya. He further mentioned that the programme even won the 2015 UN public service awards as it provides efficient government services at the convenience of the citizen, and in that way reduces incidences of corruption as citizens can gain easy access to various public services and information. The development of ICT based e-citizen platforms for acquisition of business permits and renewal of driving licenses, compulsory ICT payment platforms for services such as parking in some counties. The adoption of the Integrated Financial Management Information System (IFMIS) which is an automated system that enhances efficiency in planning budgeting, procurement, expenditure management and reporting in the National and County Governments was another cited progress. Through parliament, Mr.Oyugi stated that progress has been achieved through the enhancing of budgetary allocation for efforts geared at fighting public corruption and playing their role of vetting senior government officials. He further stated that the government’s commitment to fighting corruption as exemplified in the State of The Nation address by the President Uhuru Kenyatta which saw five ministers stepping aside for investigations on corruption allegations rocking their ministries. Additionally, Kenya being the president of the asset recovery working group of East Africa region is another progressive gain in the fight against corruption.
The government of Kenya has its work cut out as these gains that have been mentioned risk being eroded in the wake of further scandals. The saving grace even as we take stock is further commitment to UNCAC as a guiding instrument against corruption and other local legal regimes such as the Constitution. To tame graft, strong action must be taken. Civil society organizations on the other hand have to be on the frontline of holding the government to account. #CoSP6 #NoToCorruption
Kituo cha Sheria-Mombasa.
From St Petersburg,Russia.