Corruption Bill in Limbo in Kenya
The future of Kenya's emasculated graft-busting body, and by extension the resumption of foreign aid, was hanging in the balance Thursday, a day after MPs failed to decide the fate of a bill designed to make the body more effective.
The bill, put forward by the government, purports to amend the constitution to restore investigative and prosecutorial powers to the Kenya Anti-Corruption Authority (KACA).
These powers were removed in December by a constitutional court ruling that said KACA's establishment infringed the constitution, which gives exclusive powers of prosecution to the attorney general.
Western lenders such as the International Monetary Fund have linked the resumption of their cash flows to battling corruption, which is endemic in Kenya.
In Wednesday's vote, the Kenya Anti-Corruption Authority Bill was left in limbo, garnering neither enough votes in favour of the legislation to ensure its passing nor enough against to kill it.
The opposition is broadly against the government's initiative, claiming it does not give enough powers to the Authority and would lead to further confusion between its responsibilities and those of the attorney general.
In short, the opposition believes the government is just paying lip-service to the fight against corruption.
Another vote will be held Tuesday.
Set up in 1997, KACA was scuppered while it was looking into graft allegations against several public figures and after it took a cabinet minister to court on graft charges -- NAIROBI, Aug 9 (AFP)
© 2001 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)