By The Coast Newspaper Reporter
Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission will start lifestyle audit for county government workers in a bid to fight corruption, EACC vice chairperson Sophia Lepuchirit has said.
Speaking at the Taita Taveta governor’s office in Wundanyi during the official launch of a two weeks Corruption Risk Assessment in the county, Lepuchirit said most county government workers have became millionaires overnight after being employed.
The corruption risk assessment report will enable the county governments to detect, prevent and combat corruption and unethical practices in the management of public funds.
She said that the auditor general report released recently implicated many counties adding that they will launch investigations on the use of public funds.
“As a commission we shall move with speed to investigate county government workers. We are going to check how much the staff earns and what they own compared to their salaries. You joined the county government without a bicycle but within a year, you own a fleet of Lorries and houses. You cannot bring down the county government through corruption,” warned Lepuchirit.
She challenged Taita Taveta governor Granton Samboja to kick out corrupt county officials to improve service delivery to county citizens.
Governor Samboja echoed the commissioner’s sentiments saying that the county has lost millions of money through unscrupulous revenue collection officials.
“Time has come for us to seek assistance from EACC in dealing with the challenges in our revenue collection. People are collecting revenue but the monies don’t reach the county government hence end up into individuals pockets,” said the governor.
The county boss said that he will collaborate with other stakeholders to establish robust mechanisms geared towards fighting corruption.
Samboja sent a strong warning to county staff using unorthodox means to acquire wealth at the expense of public service.
"I will not entertain corruption in the county government. All staff must maintain high standards of integrity. You were given the opportunity to serve the people but not misusing it to become a millionaire overnight," said Samboja
County assembly speaker Meshack Maghanga said that they will embrace the commission’s recommendations and strategies aimed at preventing corruption and enhancing accountability.
“Corruption has become a monster in many public institutions thus negatively affecting service delivery. The best way to curb corruption is through coming up with strict preventive measures,” he said.
By The Coast Reporter
Lack of systems to combat corruption has led to the increase of Corruption in the county governments across the country. This is according to a research conducted recently by the Ethics and Anti-corruption Commission in the 47 counties.
Ethics and Anti-Corruption (EACC) Boss Halakhe Waqo says the research shows County Governments have not set up systems that would assist them in the fight against corruption.
Waqo noted that in the absence of such mechanism then the 47 governments face challenges in enforcing good practices that prevent corruption and unethical conduct.
The chief executive officer (CEO) noted other hindrances experienced in the devolved units included budgeting, project implementation, procurement, accounting for finances and recruitment of qualified human resources.
“These challenges ultimately lead to pilferage and loss of public funds resulting to poor services, dilapidated infrastructure and impeded growth,” he said.
He lamented that corruption was an issue that gravely affects the nation and citizens as it negatively impacts on human development, increases levels of poverty and weakens service delivery, leaving the average citizens vulnerable.
In Taita-Taveta County, Waqo said the most affected areas include provision of clean water, health and infrastructure adding that his office would partner with the current administration and endeavor to creating robust systems that make it difficult to perpetuate corruption.
In a speech read on his behalf by Mr. Patrick Ashiruma who is an assistant director, prevention in Wundanyi town on Friday, the anti-graft commission boss urged public and state officers to exercise high standards of integrity in the conduct of the offices they hold in trust of the public.
The anti-corruption official warned that state officers are also required to maintain public confidence in performance of the duties of such offices and in private engagements.
“Public and state officers, in the counties are key in the realization of the objectives of the constitution and national development by upholding ethics and integrity in their private and public spheres of life.” Waqo pointed out.
The CEO disclosed that his office had put in place various methods in the fight against the vice saying that the strategies include law enforcement, prevention, public education and promotion of ethical standards.
“The strategies place leadership at the driver’s seat in mainstreaming ethics and integrity and identifies top managers’ responsibilities in prevention of corruption”
Among the prevention strategies, review systems, policies, procedures and practices of work in organizations is key in ensuring that corruption loopholes are sealed and systems of work are strengthened such that there is no room for corrupt practices” continued Waqo.
He said the assessment will enable the two arms of the county government to detect, prevent and combat corruption and unethical practices in the management of public affairs.
“It is premised on the understanding that prevention of corruption works better than law enforcement,” said Waqo.
The Corruption Risk Assessments (CRA) into the policies, procedures and practices at the Taita Taveta county executive and assembly was launched by the EACC vice-chair Ms Sophia Lepuchirit on Friday.
The assessment exercise will identify existing structural weakness that can be exploited to perpetuate corrupt activities and recommend strategies for preventing corruption.
Present at the launch was the governor Granton Samboja who expressed his commitment towards working with EACC to effectively fight corruption in his administration which he lamented that it had brought about under development and lack of investment in the region.