The Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) has decried rampant cases of fraudsters impersonating its detectives and defrauding members of the public ostensibly to save them from adverse corruption investigations.
Appearing before the National Assembly Committee on Constitutional Implementation Oversight on Thursday, EACC Deputy Chief Executive Officer Abdi Mohamud expressed the Commission’s dismay that the imposters were giving EACC a bad name in the eyes of the public.
Mohamud was responding to claims by a member of the Committee that some individuals have lost money to detectives investigating corruption.
“Our staff do not take bribes. Any person who asks for a bribe from anyone in the context of our work is not from EACC and must be immediately reported for arrest. We routinely arrest such impersonators and currently several of them are undergoing prosecution in court,” the Deputy CEO said.
Mohamud urged any victims of such imposters to submit complaints to EACC for enforcement action.
The Commission had been invited by the Constitutional Implementation Committee to present a progress report on the discharge of its constitutional and statutory mandate.
The Committee lauded EACC for the progress made in taming graft but noted that despite the significant milestones, levels of corruption remained high.
“We have prioritized recovery of corruptly acquired assets and forfeiture of unexplained wealth due to the high deterrent effect of this strategy,” the Deputy CEO said.
EACC on forfeiture of assets
Forfeiture of assets, he added, ensures a quick turn-around time due to the lower standard of proof compared to criminal matters.
According to the Report tabled before the Committee covering the period 2018-2023, EACC has recovered assets worth Ksh23.84 billion through civil proceedings and Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) and averted a loss of Ksh34.5 billion through undercover operations which disrupted ongoing corruption deals.
The Committee urged EACC to look for ways to repatriate money stolen from Kenya and hidden in offshore accounts.
Mohamudi, who was accompanied by top Directors David Too (Legal Services), Jackson Mue (Field Services & Coordination) and John Lolkoloi (Ethics and Leadership) said that with more resources, EACC could do better citing budgetary constraints as one of its main obstacles. Other obstacles affecting the Commission's performance include public apathy, politicization of anti-graft efforts and weak legal frameworks.
To seal gaps that have inhibited the effective implementation of Chapter Six of the Constitution on leadership and integrity, Mohamud asked the National Assembly to consider amending the Leadership and Integrity Act and related Statutes to address existing gaps.
Relatedly, the anti-graft watchdog warned that the country risks losing its reputation internationally due to the increasing levels of fake academic certificates in the country. The Commission reported that it will continue to investigate suspects in addition to recovering any salaries and benefits earned from public coffers on fake academic qualifications.
The Commission said that it is currently investigating over 150 cases of forgery of certificates involving public officials with tens of others pending before the Anti-Corruption Court.