The Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission, has shed light on the challenges the anti-graft organization faces while pursuing prominent people connected to significant corruption scandals in the nation.
The judicial system, according to EACC Chairperson David Oginde, is a major problem since suspects have mastered the court system and it is difficult to hold them accountable.
He emphasized the difficulty of establishing guilt in cases of corruption beyond a reasonable doubt.
“The way the law is structured on corruption cases especially for criminal, you have to prove your case beyond reasonable doubt. That is not easy in corruption cases,” Oginde said on Wednesday, when the commission met with the members of the Kenya Editors Guild in Nairobi.
“The person is innocent until proven guilty and until they have exhausted the whole judicial system. It doesn’t matter even if they are nailed by the lower courts, they’ll continue until they reach the Supreme Court.”
Acknowledging the intelligence of those involved in major corruption cases, Oginde revealed that some of them often engage consultants and professionals to craft strategies for the discreet use of public funds without raising red flags.
He underscored the necessity for EACC investigators and intelligence officers to possess a similar level of acumen to unravel these intricate schemes.
Despite the commitment of EACC’s investigative team, Oginde said the process can extend over several years.
“I was calculating the other day that a case that goes from beginning to end of this big corruption without interference along the way, will take 5 to 6 years to clear if everything is done well. That’s what make this big corruption very difficult to nail down,” he explained.
He went on to say that the EACC is formulating innovative strategies in bid to target high-profile individuals involved in graft when they are the most vulnerable.
“We believe it is going to work. Give us time and watch this space,” Oginde said.
He didn’t reveal any more information about the plan, though, least it tip off the wrongdoers.
Oginde expressed confidence that the government’s backing and dedication to fighting corruption will help the EACC’s anti-corruption initiatives.
EACC CEO Twalib Mbarak commented on the commission’s policy of withholding the names of people implicated in cases involving government assets, such as land grabbing.
He underlined that some people give up their property in good faith and ask for privacy.
“Sometimes we are caught in quagmire, an old person has walked into the commission in good faith and asks to surrender the property in question. It is a very big plus to us, we have recovered without going to court to be dragged for ten years. We have cases that are fifteen years and are yet to be resolved,” he said.
“We don’t hide as such but sometimes we are put in a very delicate situation.”
Highlighting the complexities and delays in corruption cases, Mbarak revealed that the commission has opted to prioritize asset recovery over other investigative avenues.
“We have charged 9 governors; those cases have 1 year to go. I am sure the cases will be determined long when I am retired. They are, moving too slowly,”
Claims that the EACC was being employed as a political tool against specific persons both inside and outside of the administration were denied by both Oginde and Mbarak.
They urged the public and the media to support the commission’s efforts to fight corruption, and they committed to handle cases of corruption objectively and without bias.