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Kibaki attacked for re-appointing anti-graft boss
Posted on Tuesday, September 01, 2009 @ 18:14:55 CDT by kwpnews

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By Wangui Kanina

NAIROBI (Reuters) - Kenya's President Mwai Kibaki was under fire on Tuesday over his decision to reappoint the head of the east African country's corruption fighting body which critics see as a lack of commitment to ending graft.



Investors cite corruption as a major deterrent to doing business in east Africa's biggest economy -- otherwise one of sub-Saharan Africa's most attractive spots for foreign money.

Kibaki said late on Monday that he had renewed the contract for the head of the Kenya Anti-Corruption Commission (KACC) Justice Aaron Ringera and two of his deputies for five years.

Prime Minister Raila Odinga's Orange Democratic Party (ODM), part of the ruling coalition, said the appointments were illegal and unconstitutional and accused Kibaki of ignoring parliament when making the decision.

Kibaki and Odinga formed a unity government last year to end the worst bloodshed since Kenya's 1963 independence, after a disputed presidential poll.

But critics say the government has done little to tackle a raft of scandals mainly in the skewed distribution of oil and maize, but also in immigration, tourism and financial sectors.

"We reject (the re-appointments) as illegal, contemptuous and tantamount to impunity," ODM Secretary General Anyang' Nyong'o told reporters.

Nyong'o said Kibaki had flouted the law that states any appointment to the commission had to be approved by a KACC advisory board and parliament.

The Kenyan chapter of global graft watchdog Transparency International and the African Centre for Open Governance (AFRICOG) also accused Kibaki of breaking the law and urged parliament not to approve government funding to the semi-autonomous body.

"By unilaterally purporting to reappoint Ringera, Mwai Kibaki has attempted to deal the independence of the commission and its advisory board the decisive death-blow," AFRICOG's Gladwell Otieno told reporters.

Ringera has led KACC since its formation in 2003 and has previously said he was hampered by poor court systems and laws in his efforts to end high level corruption.

 


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