Editorials

China should support Kenya’s anti-graft fight

MobileClinic

Summary

  • The Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) says that the Chinese response on the mutual legal assistance request is critical in determining the criminal culpability of the suspects.
  • It is important for China to show responsibility in helping countries like Kenya fight graft, in line with its emerging status as a power in the global socio-economic arena.

The Ministry of Health has repeatedly made headlines over graft in the past five years, with little to show in terms of arrests and successful prosecutions of the perpetrators.

This is why it is disheartening to learn that criminal investigations into the Sh1 billion portable clinics import scandal have stalled after the Chinese government failed to offer Kenya information on the purchase and pricing.

While local investigative authorities have in the past been accused of dragging their feet in apprehending graft barons, Kenyans have come to expect better from foreign governments and investigative authorities when it comes to procuring evidence and actually prosecuting the corrupt.

Case in point is the procurement scandal at the defunct Interim Independent Electoral Commission (IIEC), commonly known as ‘Chickengate’, which was successfully prosecuted in the UK and the recovered proceeds repatriated to Kenya even as local authorities dragged their feet in catching the Kenyan culprits.

The Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) says that the Chinese response on the mutual legal assistance request is critical in determining the criminal culpability of the suspects.

It is important for China to show responsibility in helping countries like Kenya fight graft, in line with its emerging status as a power in the global socio-economic arena.

The Asian giant must now lead the way in ensuring that we operate in an ethical world, and make it clear to other countries that it will not stand idly as criminals hold sway.

China’s stance, especially in regards to African countries, has been one of non-interference in domestic affairs.

Its influence on the continent is, however, undeniable, and this gives it the ability to help in the fight against corruption, especially in cases such as this one which involves goods procured from China.

In the past, we have seen external pressure and assistance from Western countries help in fighting graft in Kenya. It is time that China also serves notice to graft lords that they have nowhere to hide, by helping nab the masterminds of the portable clinics import scam.