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Keynote Address by Mumo Matemu, MBS,
Chairperson of the Ethics and Anti-Corruption
Commission (EACC) during the Visit to Machakos
County Government on Thursday, 29
May 2014
Your Excellency, Dr. Alfred Mutua, Governor of Machakos County;
Deputy Governor;
County Secretary;
Speaker of the County Assembly;
Members of the Executive Committee and County Assembly present;
Distinguished Guests;
Our friends from the media;
Colleagues from the Commission;
Ladies and Gentlemen:
It gives me great pleasure and honour to be with you today as we collectively
strategize how to strengthen good governance and enhance corruption
intolerance in Machakos County.
From the very onset, let me thank Your !cellency "or e!pressing desire to
work with us and thereby inviting the Commission to visit Machakos County.
#his is no doubt a clear demonstration o" your government$s willingness to
mainstream and promote integrity in the discharge o" the responsibilities
bestowed upon you by the people o" &enya generally, and the residents o"
Machakos in particular. #he Commission appreciates such e""orts and in this
regard, we pledge our support to your other programs and activities aimed at
combating and preventing corruption in the County.
Ladies and Gentlemen;
'e come to Machakos at a signi"icant moment "or the County. (ust like
ma)ority o" &enyans who have had the opportunity to visit Machakos and in
particular where we are at the moment, we concur that to*date, Machakos
County has distinguished itsel" as one o" the most innovative county
governments in &enya. #his is evidenced by the various "lagship pro)ects under
implementation especially in the areas o" tourism, sports, trade and
technological development.
In addition to the Machakos +tadium, we are aware that Machakos is celebrated
"or having developed the Machakos ,eoples ,ark which is now a crucial tourist
attraction "acility. 'e are also made to understand that the County is laying
strategies "or construction o" two modern cities. 'e urge you to intensi"y these
innovations which are necessary "or ensuring a high .uality li"e "or all the
residents o" Machakos and the people o" &enya in general.
/owever, i" you do not embrace good governance and corruption intolerance,
these attractive developmental goals will remain elusive. Integrity in your
operations will be the key determinant o" the "uture o" Machakos County.
0s you are aware, &enyans in %111 gave themselves a new Constitution
bringing a paradigm shi"t in the way public a""airs are managed. It is incumbent
upon those o" us who are entrusted with the management o" public a""airs to
ensure that the ideals and values o" this Constitution are realized "or the bene"it
o" the people o" &enya. In particular, county governments have a duty to uphold
and promote the ob)ects o" devolution as listed under 0rticle 123 o" the
Constitution. 0rticle %34 empowers Constitutional Commissions such as 0CC
to protect sovereignty o" the people, secure observance by all state o""icers o"
democratic principles and values and promote constitutionalism.
In our case, this mandate is ampli"ied under Chapter +i! which mandates the
Commission to combat and prevent corruption in &enya through law
en"orcement, prevention and promotion o" best practices in ethics and integrity.
It is against this background that the Commission e!pects all county
governments including Machakos to per"orm their duties with integrity bearing
in mind that all ,ublic 5""icials hold their respective o""ices in trust "or the
people only e!ercising delegated authority.
Ladies and Gentlemen;
#oday$s visit is part o" an ongoing program by the Commission to partner with
county governments with a view to helping them to establish strong
accountability systems6 map out corruption prone areas6 develop good
governance instruments6 "ormulate corruption prevention strategies6 and
identi"y challenges and emerging issues in county governance.
I am aware that my Colleague, Commissioner ,ro". 5nsongo led a team o" our
o""icers to Machakos County early this year and implemented an advisory
programme on corruption prevention. ,ro". 5nsongo has told me that an 0ction
,lan committing the county government to implement various anti*corruption
initiatives was agreed on. I am sure that /is !cellency will in his remarks
update us on the progress made in e!ecution o" these initiatives.
Implementation o" anti*corruption strategies is indeed part o" the criterion that
the Commission will use in ranking counties in our annual +urveys on
Corruption and thics. You may have interacted with our 8esearch 9epartment
which is currently in your County conducting an 0nnual +urvey on Corruption
and thics to mark the end o" county governments one year in o""ice.
It is imperative to note that your ranking in the survey report "or this year will
entirely depend on what you are currently doing to redeem your county "rom the
demons associated with the corruption o" the past.
Ladies and Gentlemen;
0CC is in possession o" numerous reports regarding corruption and unethical
practices in many county governments. We will in the coming weeks send to
the Director of Public Prosecutions completed investigation files involving
over ten county governments. +ome o" the malpractices reported "rom county
governments range "rom con"lict o" interest6 payments "or works not done6 the"t
in collection o" revenue6 payments to ghost workers and "or ghost pro)ects6
"ailure to "ollow laid down procedures and guidelines in procurement, irregular
recruitments and culpable "inancial management practices6 "raudulent
ac.uisition o" public property6 nepotism6 unethical conduct among others. In
this regard, the Commission is partnering with county governments to
implement preventive strategies because "ailure to prevent corruption would
automatically usher in the Commission$s law en"orcement mandate. I pause
here to clarify that our ongoing partnerships with county governments will
not in any way deter us from investigating and subjecting to prosecution
individual officers in county governments who engage in corruption or
unethical conduct. We are partnering with county governments as entities
and not their individual office occupants at all!
In the same breath, it is also important to emphasize that the Commission will
not be drawn into politics as we discharge our mandate.
'hat we are interested in is to secure observance o" Constitutional re.uirements
by those who have chosen or accepted to hold public o""ice. For avoidance o"
doubt, 0CC is not engaged in negative pro"iling o" any ;overnor or other
,ublic 5""icer. I have again and again stated that we do not have ;overnors
who are thieves, but rather, we could have thieves who became ;overnors. It is
the thieves that we are pursuing. 'e will however let the ;overnors do their
Chapter +i! o" our Constitution has raised the ethical bar "or public service in
&enya. #hose who accept to hold public o""ice must there"ore be prepared to
operate within our Constitution and other integrity laws. =pholding integrity in
our duties is not a choice but a duty that binds all o" us.
5n our part, the Commission will not shy away "rom discharging our
Constitutional mandate in respect to any +tate or ,ublic 5""icer who is "ound to
be plundering or abusing the public resources entrusted to them. #his we will do
without any "ear or "avour in line with our oath o" o""ice. I there"ore encourage
Machakos County ;overnment to implement the 0ction ,lan recently signed
with the Commission during the advisory programme and create an atmosphere
that is hostile to corruption and impunity in Machakos.
In the coming "inancial year, we plan to e!pand our regional presence by
opening "our regional o""ices. I am glad to in"orm you that the Commission has
identi"ied Machakos town as the appropriate location "or setting up a new
regional o""ice to serve the entire lower eastern region. 'e there"ore look
"orward to working closely with you.
Ladies and Gentlemen;
#he Commission continues to spread the gospel that corruption is not one o" the
devolved "unctions under the Constitution.
It is there"ore necessary to emphasize on some "actors that are critical in the
success o" devolution in &enya. 5ne such "actor is the role o" pro"essionals in
devolution. 0s you are aware, devolution is highly characterized by
in"rastructural development where various pro"essional services such as
engineering and accounting are employed. /uge amounts o" public "unds could
be lost i" pro"essionals who have "allen short o" integrity standards are allowed
to mislead county governments. I there"ore urge you to engage only
pro"essionals who uphold integrity and have proved to be o" good standing in
their practice.
#hat way, you will pre*empt any e""orts to lead you to the guillotine. Machakos
County has development potential in various sectors coupled with hard working
I urge all county leaders to see their positions as opportunities to serve rather
than opportunities to >eat?. In order to register progress in the much desired
good governance and corruption intolerance, the Commission encourages you to
consider implementing the "ollowing measures at the earliest@
aA nact anti*corruption legislation "or the county6
bA stablish an e""ective corruption prevention committee6
cA Bet all sta"" inherited "rom the de"unct municipal council and those
seeking to be recruited6
dA Conduct corruption risk assessment to identi"y and e!pose loopholes in
your systems that could allow corrupt conduct and promptly seal them6
eA Comply with laws and laid down procedures and regulations on
recruitment, procurement, "inancial management and other a""airs6
Implementation o" these tools will trans"orm your County to a model unit o"
governance where others would come to study best practices.
#his brings me to the last but very important issue6 the need "or all the public
servants in county governments to always read "rom the same script and work in
solidarity. #his reminds me o" a county I recently visited and was amazed by
the high level o" cooperation, team spirit and unity among the various arms o"
the county government.
Cet all leaders internalize that Machakos County is greater than any one o" you.
'e should not permit anything other than public interest to characterize our
discharge o" our duties.
In the end, each o" us will be able to say like Emma Bombet who e!pressed his
wish as "ollows@
When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope
that I would not have a single bit of talent left; and could say, I
used everything you gave me
#hank you "or your audience and May ;od Dless You.