Donor talks to focus on corruption

The Nation
April 1, 2005

Nairobi: The government yesterday said it would prove its “corruption-free record” at a crucial meeting with key donors in two weeks.

It will be grilled, among others, by the IMF and the World Bank in the April 11-12 Consultative Group (CG) meeting. Finance minister David Mwiraria said the government would prove to the Bretton Woods review missions already in the country that it had nothing to hide.

The government was aware that corruption would take centre stage, Mr. Mwiraria said.

It has, therefore, prepared a detailed paper on each of the alleged cases, he said. Yesterday, the minister spoke as Canadian high commissioner Jim Wall told him to his face that, despite repeated “zero tolerance” affirmations at all levels, Ottawa’s confidence in the Kibaki Government was waning.

Mr. Wall said: “There are repeated allegations that during the current Government’s mandate, well established cabals of corrupt individuals have reasserted their influence and have dealings with the Government.

“We have been waiting for almost a year for a transparent account of what has been going on and for appropriate accountability standards to be articulated and implemented.”

The minister and the envoy were speaking at Mr. Mwiraria’s Treasury office, Nairobi, as they signed a memorandum of understanding on Canadian support to free education and good governance.

Mr. Wall said the medium- and long-term legal reforms begun recently to fight corruption were not sufficient to deal effectively with the current levels of graft at the top.

But Mr. Mwiraria said the Kenya Anti-Corruption Commission had already completed investigating the majority of the 20 corruption allegations made by British high commissioner Edward Clay.

Four had been completed, three forwarded to the Attorney-General for prosecution and six found lacking any corruption evidence.

Of the remaining 10, eight were nearing completion. “In two weeks, we shall have completed them all,” he said.

Mr. Mwiraria claimed that some of the corruption allegations were the work of those who “perpetrated grand corruption in the previous regime” and now wanted to divert attention from themselves.

“It is unfortunate for some people to level general accusations without substantiation because this has caused a lot of damage to Kenya,” the minister said.

The coming CG meeting, therefore, should bring about a measure of understanding between the Government and the donors, he said.

Categories: Africa, Kenya, Odious Debts

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