President Uhuru Kenyatta has directed the National Intelligence Service to put top government officials, especially those handling corruption cases, under closer surveillance.
Many senior officials in the anti-corruption chain itself are under intensified surveillance and Big Brother is watching virtually all officers handling the NYS case, the Star was told yesterday.
Those being monitored include Judiciary staff ranging from judges to magistrates and court clerks, investigating officers at the Directorate of Criminal Investigations and Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission and prosecutors in the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions.
The President wants anyone taking bribes or being influenced in any way to compromise the fight against corruption arrested, charged and dismissed from work altogether.
“The President is not taking chances with this fight. He has resourced key institutions fairly well so as to facilitate their work,” said a senior official at Harambee House.
“He has made it clear that those who have stolen must face the law, money must be recovered and proceeds of corruption repossessed. He has personal faith and trust in some of the people driving the fight,” the official in the presidency said.
The NIS, according to various sources, is briefing the President regularly on the response to his onslaught on corruption.
When he spoke on Thursday in Mombasa upon his return from overseas, the President rebuffed claims that had surfaced while he was away that the crackdown was targeting certain individuals.
“A thief is a thief. Whether you are Kikuyu, Kamba, Kalenjin or Digo. You stole alone and you will be jailed alone,” he said. He proceeded to direct that a lifestyle audit be carried out on all state officials beginning with himself, Deputy President William Ruto, Cabinet Secretaries to governors, all the way down.
In the case, 51 people including Gender PS Lillian Omollo and NYS director general Richard Ndubai, who stepped aside, are facing numerous charges regarding the loss of nearly half a billion shillings by the National Youth Service.
Milimani chief magistrate Douglas Ogoti denied the suspects bail, citing threats to national security. He said the offences affect the country’s economy.
On Thursday, the President swore that he will end corruption that is costing the country a fortune.
“I swear to God, this will end,” he vowed. “We will ask you questions on how you got your wealth. If you don’t have answers, there is someone in Kamiti waiting for you. He will give you the answers instead,” Uhuru said.
“Transparency is when all those in authority declare what they own and how they got their property,” he added.
The lifestyle audit is the latest in a series of radical measures announced by the government to deal with graft.
On Wednesday, the President issued an Executive Order requiring all government entities and publicly owned institutions to make public the full details of tenders and awards from July 1. The order was echoed in the Budget Statement by Treasury CS Henry Rotich on Thursday.
It requires all tender information to be published — the names of the bidders, the bid sums, the winning firm and details of the directors, as well as the beneficial owners.