Women and children to be roped in Anti-Graft War -Transparency International

Photo: Odhiambo Orlale
Photo: Odhiambo Orlale

The war on corruption, which has permeated every sector of the society, will be taken to the next level by bringing women, youth and children on board.

According to Samuel Kimeu, the Executive Director of Transparency International-Kenya, a leading international anti-corruption Non Governmental Organisation, the inclusion of women, youth and children will be part of their new strategy to fight the vice.

Said Kimeu: “Attention will be granted to working with women youth/children. We will position our work at the County level through citizen engagement, capacity-building, policy and legal work; at the national level, we will focus on policy and legal level work, institutional development and strengthening among others.”

The Executive Director was addressing guests during the launch of TI’s 2017-2020 Strategic Plan, at a Nairobi hotel. He said the plan will focus on three main areas: public accountability, economic accountability; and development institutional framework.

The event was also graced by two envoys from Sweden and Australia, and a founder member of TI, Joe Wanjui, who is one of the board members.

Political goodwill

Earlier, Bernadette Musundi, the chairperson of TI board identified lack of political goodwill and the culture of impunity as the major challenges frustrating the anti-corruption campaign in Kenya.

Said the chairperson: “The most unfortunate thing is that for us as a society, the corrupt are celebrated and are not held responsible.”

Musundi, who is a former Permanent Secretary, lamented that despite spirited efforts directed in the fight against the vice over the years by TI and other stakeholders, it has continued to be even more complex due to several factors like lack of cooperation between various organs of government.

TI seeks, through those three pillars, to empower the public to be responsive and effective in holding duty bearers to account, while facilitating the existence of supportive policy, legal and institutional frameworks for anti-graft interventions.

Musundi’s sentiments were supported by Anna Jardfelt, the Swedish Ambassador to Kenya who linked grand corruption in the Government to the high mortality rate, staid to be one of the leading in the world.

Said the envoy: “The war against graft has never been won by a single individual or government, it is a collective responsibility.”

On his part, the Executive Director of TI blamed the lack of success in the anti-graft war to lack of political goodwill where it is never a priority in their public utterances.

Initiatives

Said the ED: “The major problem has been the lack of goodwill.”

In the 32-page concept of action, 2017-2020, the chairperson and ED say in the Foreword: “TI-Kenya exists to contribute to the establishment of a transparent and corruption-free society through facilitating good governance and social justice initiatives.”

Over the years TI has used innovative approaches in the fight against the vice, the major one being advocacy, research, citizen engagement, capacity-strengthening and partnership’s development.

Say the officials: “We note that Kenya’s performance in the fight against corruption has faced several challenges leading to poor performance in the global corruption perception index. For over five years, Kenya has had a score of 30 out of a possible 100 (with the score of zero perceived to be highly corrupt, and 100 very clean).”

The two noted that those challenges were demonstrated by among others rising impunity, inequality, citizen apathy, ethnic and political patronage, and backlash against anti-graft crusaders, diminishing accountability and the will to fight corruption by leaders, as well as reducing global solidarity and support to good governance work.

TI’s philosophy states that it understands corruption to entail “abuse of entrusted power for private gain,” and that by shining a spotlight on the corrupt; they will promote a culture of transparency and accountability, which leads to greater equity and quality of public service delivery, hence improving the quality of life for Kenyans.

“We recognise the devastating effects of corruption on the human being – it weakens institutions and undermines sustainable socio-economic development. We do this by empowering citizens and leaders, strengthening governance institutions, and promoting progressive regulatory frameworks,” says Kimeu.

TI’s signature strategies for achieving above are: advocacy, research, partnerships development, capacity-strengthening and civic education.