Kenya: Public Tender Heads Step Aside in Graft War

Kenyan President, Uhuru Kenyatta

June 4, 2018//-Heads of procurement and accounting units in ministries, departments and State-owned firms have been ordered to step aside and submit to State House information on their assets as the war on corruption intensifies.

Interior Ministry spokesperson Mwenda Njoka said in a statement the public servants had been asked to hand over to their immediate deputies ahead of fresh vetting.

The officers are also required to submit information on their assets, liabilities and previous work record to State House through the Head of Public Service Joseph Kinyua at Harambee House by Friday.

This comes as dozens of officials and business people were detained for alleged theft of about Sh8 billion via the National Youth Service.

“Whereas the exercise is geared towards determining suitability to continue holding public office in the public trust, and promote confidence in the public service, the same will be undertaken in a fair and objective manner; exercised with due care and regard to officers’ rights as enshrined in the Constitution,” reads part of the statement.

The State House said Monday the public servants who are stepping aside will still get their salaries but will only travel after Mr Kinyua clears them.

The latest house cleaning comes after President Uhuru Kenyatta on Madaraka Day ordered vetting of all government procurement officers by end month.

They will also take polygraph or lie detector tests and those who do not pass will be sent home, the President said.

While Mr Kenyatta pledged to stamp out graft when first elected in 2013, critics say he has been slow to pursue top officials. No high-profile convictions have occurred since he took office.

Last week, 20 State officials and traders were charged last Tuesday with defrauding the NYS of about Sh466 million in questionable deals. The charges are the first phase of the inquiry into the Sh8 billion theft.

Monday, 17 more suspects implicated in NYS scandal were arraigned at Milimani Law Courts in Nairobi.

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