Nakuru Town West Member of Parliament, Samuel Arama has lashed out at his colleagues for politicizing the war on graft.
Arama said watchdog institutions such as Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) and Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) had come under unfair attack by politicians yet the constitution empowers them to operate independently.
At the same time, the legislator dismissed proposals by his Kiharu counterpart, Ndindi Nyoro to clip the powers of Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) over graft cases and hand them over to EACC.
The MP was speaking at Holy Cross Catholic Church in Nakuru during a fundraiser.
Arama was accompanied by his political foes, Dr. Isoe Ochoki and Dr. Eric Ogada who vied for the parliamentary seat on Orange Democratic Movement and United Green Movement Party respectively in the last general elections.
The occasion was also graced by County KANU women leader, Grace Karuga and prominent businessman, Hezron Okiki.
“Institutions of governance, investigations and prosecutions such as courts are non-political and should operate without interference. These office holders are public servants who should be left alone to carry out their duties efficiently and without fear,” said the MP.
Dr. Ochoki noted that individuals alleged to have been involved in graft should exonerate their names before law courts and investigators instead of dragging their entire communities into their woes.
He called on institutions engaged in the war against graft to guard it from being influenced by public opinion and political interference to ensure that suspected culprits are not victimized.
Dr. Ochoki observed the suspected perpetrators of graft need not fear as they will be given an opportunity to defend themselves.
“We believe that the ongoing war against corruption only targets the suspects who are innocent until when the due process of the law will prove otherwise. MPs and senators should stick to their oversight and legislative mandate instead of whipping up ethnic tensions. They are doing it purely for very selfish political gain,” said Dr.Isoe.
Dr. Ogada termed the efforts by Nyoro as ‘an irritating diversionary tactic and an insult to Kenyans’ intelligence’, adding that the vigor with which DCI had been cracking the whip had the full backing of citizens.
“Kenyans are too bright and are seeing through such smokescreens. If you are not corrupt you have no reason to wage wars with the DCI.
Arama should join well intentioned law makers in the house opposing this retrogressive proposal that is crafted to derail the fight against corruption,” said Dr.Ogada.
He vowed to oppose the proposal noting that it was the height of mischief for Nyoro to suggest giving EACC more power at a time when it still ‘had too much on its plate’.
The Kiharu MP says that his proposals are meant to streamline the fight against corruption.
He has proposed amendments to take away powers of the DPP to determine the fate of investigations including terminating the same at any stage of investigations.
These powers are to be transferred to EACC which will also be the only agency to carry out investigations into corruption and economic crimes if his proposal is adopted.
“We have so many bodies doing the same thing — you have the police investigating, there is the DPP and then there is the DCI. At the end of the day, investigations are delayed because you are dealing with multiple agencies, all with their own bureaucratic structures. There is also the danger of the evidence leaking out and being diluted because of the multiplicity of players involved,” Nyoro said.
By Anne Mwale