ACROSS Africa, the fight against corruption is a topical issue with leaders promising to root out the cancer and with opposition and activists accusing governments of lacking the will to prosecute appointees who dip their hands into the kitty.
Kenya, an economic giant in East Africa has over the years been dogged with issues of corruption and financial mismanagement. The offshoot of which is a series of high-profile corruption-related arrests and ongoing prosecutions.
The coming into office of Public Prosecutor Noordin Haji was seen as a boost for the fight against corruption. Under his leadership charges have been levelled against top personalities – amongst them: a former finance minister, Henry Rotich, and flashy governor of the capital Nairobi, Mike Sonko.
Haji, however, admits that there is a lot to be done in securing convictions but also importantly with recouping stolen public funds.
He told the BBC in a recent interview that the state has succeeded in recovering only 1 percent of stolen assets – Kenya has accrued $20 million from corruption cases. The estimated amount of stolen funds comes up to $2bn.
The country is ranked 144 out of 180 countries on Transparency International’s Corruption Perception Index (score of 27 percent).
President Uhuru Kenyatta has challenged prosecutors to do all it takes to secure good conviction rates for the year. The president is himself the subject of corruption allegations by activists.
Kenyans have often taken to the streets protesting the spate of corruption and demanding that the state takes action to save the poor – who are adversely affected by graft.