Two newly elected governors and their deputies on Thursday, September 15, 2022, took an anti-graft oath administered by the High Court and the Ethics and Anti-corruption Commission (EACC).
Mombasa and Kakamega Governors took an oath to uphold the Integrity Code for State Officers alongside their oaths of office. They took the integrity oath immediately after their oath of office administered by High Court Judges and EACC officials.
Following the general election held on August 9, 2022, EACC moved to enforce the law which requires all new state officers to take an integrity oath by signing an Integrity Code developed under the Leadership and Integrity Act, 2012. The law makes it mandatory for all newly elected or appointed state officers to sign the integrity codes before they assume office.
The other 45 governors and deputies were sworn into office on August 25, 2022, and also signed and committed to the integrity codes.
“Enforcement of the Code is part of the ongoing efforts by EACC to implement Chapter Six of the Constitution with a view to escalating the fight against corruption in the incoming national and county governments,” said Mr Eric Ngumbi, the Commission’s Head of Corporate Affairs and Communication.
While leading the Mombasa Governor and Deputy Governor in signing the integrity oath, Ngumbi said that signing of the integrity code signifies a commitment and pledge to the public that the State Officer will, during their tenure, uphold integrity, prevent corruption and not betray the public trust.
Ngumbi said that EACC is also enforcing another integrity requirement for all newly elected or appointed state officers to declare their wealth within 30 days of assuming office. Those exiting public service following the August elections are also required to sign.
“Wealth Declaration Forms contain crucial information necessary for corruption investigations and asset recovery by the Commission. The declarations will therefore assist EACC in its work,” he said.
Integrity issues faced by governors
EACC said that compliance with the integrity codes by the Governors will enable them to overcome some of the integrity challenges currently facing counties. Among the malpractices noted in counties, Ngumbi said, include embezzlement of public funds, payments for services not rendered, conflict of interest, abuse of office, inflated costs of projects and fraudulent payroll systems involving ghost workers.
EACC is investigating these allegations to inform interventions which may include asset recovery and prosecution of the culpable persons.