EACC slams Senator Ledama over alleged misinformation on Conflict of Interest Bill

EACC slams Senator Ledama over alleged misinformation on Conflict of Interest Bill

A side-by-side image of EACC CEO Twalib Mbarak and Narok Senator Ledama Ole Kina at past separate functions. PHOTOS | COURTESY

By Hazel Vion

The Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) has called out Narok Senator Ledama Ole Kina for making “false, malicious and misleading information” in regards to the Conflict of Interest Bill, 2023, and the agency's alleged role in its enactment.

This comes three weeks after Ledama's proposed amendments to the Bill were okayed by the Senate and returned to Parliament for approval before being forwarded to the President for final assent.

The amendments to the Bill will allow State officials to engage in government contracts while simultaneously protecting themselves and their families from taxpayer accountability, dealing a significant blow to anti-corruption efforts spearheaded by the EACC.

In a statement on Thursday EACC CEO Twalib Mbarak noted that apart from verbally attacking the commission, Ledama made false allegations and misled Kenyans about the content of the Bill and the implications of the amendments introduced by the Senate.

EACC added that Ledama attempted to justify the Senate's unanimous adoption of his amendments by dismissing it as a worthless creation sponsored by the anti-graft watchdog in collaboration with an international organization.

"Whereas the commission has legitimate interest in all anti-corruption legislation, including those pending in Parliament, the commission takes great exception to the Senator's allegations that it sponsored the Bill, whether on its own motion or on behalf of the alleged international actors. The Senator was, therefore, out of order in imputing improper motive on the Commission," said Mbarak.

Further, EACC highlighted that the Bill was sponsored by the Cabinet as a measure to combat corruption, and was tabled by the Majority Leaders of both Houses of Parliament.

"To that extent, therefore, Senator Olekina lied to Kenyans apparently to shift public focus from the disastrous nature of the amendments introduced to the Bill which, in effect, cripple the fight against corruption perpetuated through conflict of interest, especially in the counties," said Mbarak.

"Whereas the commission does not ordinarily respond to politicization of its work, blackmail and intimidation by its detractors, the gravity of the Senator's false allegations regarding a matter of such great public interest and national importance, cannot be permitted to stand. This obligates the commission to set the record straight and call out the Senator for the dishonest conduct."

EACC further urged political leaders to desist from politicizing the fight against corruption but rather support it by strengthening legal frameworks to address current legal bottlenecks that are inimical to public accountability.

"In particular, the commission calls upon Parliament to consider dropping all the amendments introduced by the Senate to the initial Bill which pose a direct threat to the existing mechanisms for protection of public funds from theft and misuse," added Mbarak.


Citizen Digital EACC Twalib Mbarak Ledama Ole Kina Conflict of Interest Bill

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