Cooperation, collaboration and coordination. This is the resolute decision taken by the many agencies that are tasked to fight organized crime and corruption in Kenya. This was agreed upon at the ongoing trainings across the country with last week’s being at KSG Matuga campus. The trained officers were drawn from the Coastal region. The agencies resolved that working together is key to achieving the elusive goal of effectively combating corruption, economic and other crimes. This approach has worked well in other countries. Dr. Florence Kithinji who heads the Centre for Public Service Ethics and Integrity said the agencies involved in the fight against crime and corruption should henceforth conduct joint investigations, share information and intelligence on real time basis, undertake simultaneous actions like prosecution, civil action, administrative action and asset recovery.
“If the agencies cooperate in the protection (freezing) and confiscation of suspect assets and property, decentralized decision making at the Office of the Director of Public Prosecution and replicated the collaboration in the counties, the results will be amazing,” Dr. Kithinji said.She said this at Matuga Campus during the official opening of the course on Team Approach on Collaboration, Coordination and Cooperation on Investigation and Prosecution of Corruption, Economic Crime and other organized Crimes in Kenya.
Dr. Kithinji noted that corruption has been recognized as the main enabler for commission of crimes and formation of cartels with economic crimes leading to the loss of government revenue. Organized crimes include terrorism, trafficking, smuggling, poaching and money-laundering. The decision to work together was arrived at after the realization that the agencies have played against each other for a long time resulting in mistrust amongst themselves hence they could not share intelligence and information and together they lost confidence of the public. The agencies which are coordinated from the Office of the President, include Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission, Director of Public Prosecutions, Directorate of Criminal Investigations, National Intelligence Service, Financial Reporting Centre, Asset Recovery Agency and Kenya Revenue Authority.
Other agencies co-opted on a need basis include Communications Authority of Kenya, Kenya Wildlife Services, Kenya Forestry Services, Anti-Counterfeit Agency and the National Transport and Safety Authority. This initiative stems from the fact that corruption has become very rampant in Kenya and therefore necessitates the need to deal with it through enactment of many laws, regulations and establishment of institutions. Since all these have not quite succeeded to rid the country of corruption in the past, it necessitated in the re-evaluation of the effectiveness of these measures hence the decision to cooperate across the agencies. While addressing the participants Matuga Campus Director, Mr. Jeremiah Nyaberi, said no country can advance its socio economic development agenda unless there is security. He urged the officers to take time and share their experiences on how best to tackle security related issues in their jurisdictions. In attendance were the Deputy Director in Charge of Academic Affairs, Mrs. Faith Mbai, the Head of Training, Mr. Pharis Ndwiga, the course coordinator, Mr. Francis Kiandari and the Administrative Assistant Ms. Pamela Odoyo.
By Daniel Ngeti