Almost half of leaders elected in August could be 'wash wash' gangs - Matiang'i warns

Almost half of leaders elected in August could be 'wash wash' gangs - Matiang'i warns

Interior CS Fred Matiangí (second left) flanked by other panelists during the 2022 National Conference on Criminal Justice Reforms held in Naivasha.

Interior Cabinet Secretary (CS) Fred Matiang'i has warned that money laundering criminal entities may buy their way into elected offices in the upcoming elections resulting in 40 per cent of officeholders being money launderers.

According to Matiang’i, who was speaking at the 2022 National Conference on Criminal Justice Reforms in Naivasha on Tuesday, criminals are capitalizing on sloppy banking regulations to influence the electoral process.

This, Matiang’i added, threatens the transparency and credibility of the August polls, noting that Kenya needs to adapt a stringent legal framework to steadily mitigate such threats.

“We could end up laundering criminals of unprecedented standards into our elective offices. We might have over 40% of elected office holders becoming our leaders if we allow all the ‘wash wash’ gangs and other criminals to bribe their way in the coming elections,” said the CS.

The CS added that prosecution of persons found guilty of disrupting the electoral process on social media platforms also threatens the election exercise as most suspects often get round this by posting bail.

“We have the challenge of multiple bonds issued by our courts. Some of the people who have been arrested are enjoying their eighth, ninth or tenth bond. This of course does little to deter others from engaging an army of bloggers to character assassinate others,” noted Matiang'i.

Other challenges that the CS identified as risks to a credible poll from a security perspective are a deliberate disregard for laws and regulations, especially on political gatherings, the proliferation of hate speech and incitement to ethnic conflicts and balkanization.

Matiang'i however underscored that approximately 10,000 police officers have been drawn from different law enforcement agencies to oversee the election, citing that they are up to the task and that they will work hand in hand with IEBC to ensure that the polls are conducted without any hitches.

Chief Justice Martha Koome, the Director of Public Prosecutions Noordin Haji, the Inspector General of Police Hilary Mutyambai, the Commissioner-General of Prisons Brig (Rtd) John Warioba, National Cohesion and Integration Commission (NCIC) chair Rev Samuel Kobia and DCI boss George Kinoti were all in attendance. 


Fred Matiangí General Election Money Laundering

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