EACC Cautions Against Prosecutorial Powers Amid Discussions with Parliamentary Committee

NAIVASHA — The Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Twalib Mbarak, expressed concerns over the proposal to grant the commission prosecutorial powers, warning of potential abuse, particularly by influential figures and politicians. During a week-long meeting in Naivasha with the National Assembly Justice and Legal Affairs Committee, discussions focused on the challenges and strategies in combating corruption within the country.

According to Kenya News Agency, while the debate on EACC’s prosecutorial powers is welcome, there is apprehension about its misuse for political gains. He stressed the commission’s effective collaboration with other prosecutorial bodies like the Office of the Director of Public Prosecution (ODPP) and the Office of the Director of Criminal Investigations (DCI), which has contributed to progressive efforts in fighting corruption.

The CEO highlighted obstacles such as insufficient funding and the politicization of corruption cases, which hamper the commission’s work. Mbarak’s remarks came at the outset of discussions aimed at addressing the systemic issues in the country’s fight against corruption, underscoring the importance of electing leaders with integrity to safeguard public resources.

Mbarak also commented on the recent fatal gas explosion in Embakasi, Nairobi, attributing such incidents to a culture of impunity and a lack of adherence to the rule of law. He emphasized that better enforcement of existing laws is crucial for improving government service delivery.

Justice and Legal Affairs Committee Chair, George Murugara Gitonga, mentioned the committee’s role in overseeing anti-corruption efforts and its plans to engage with various government agencies to bolster the anti-corruption mandate. Gitonga pointed out the current legal framework, which restricts prosecutorial powers to the ODPP and DCI but mentioned the possibility of seconding prosecutors to the EACC to expedite corruption cases without causing conflicts of interest.

The committee also aims to legislate against loopholes that facilitate the misappropriation of public funds at both national and county levels. Gitonga praised the EACC’s achievements in recovering public assets and funds and emphasized the need for thorough investigations into the utilization of funds contributing to the country’s rising public debt.

EACC Chair, Bishop (Dr.) David Oginde, advocated for a collaborative approach to effectively combat corruption, highlighting ongoing investigations into the misuse of public funds. The Naivasha meeting will further explore legal challenges, close corruption loopholes, and strengthen the overall fight against graft.