Kenya PM says judiciary “pathetic” on corruption

NAIROBI, (Reuters) – Kenyan Prime Minister Raila  Odinga slammed the country’s “pathetic” anti-corruption bodies  yesterday, accusing them of obstructing government efforts to  fight the scourge of east Africa’s biggest economy.

Investors cite corruption as a major deterrent to doing  business in Kenya, which has otherwise been one of sub-Saharan  Africa’s most attractive spots for foreign money.

An angry Odinga told reporters the year-old coalition  government, which he formed with President Mwai Kibaki to end  post-election violence last year, was committed to zero  tolerance but had inherited years of massive graft.

“It is not possible to undo all the ills of 45 years in a  moment…Investigations must take place quietly, this necessary  silence should not be mistaken for inactivity,” he said.

Corruption flourished in Kenya during former President  Daniel arap Moi’s 24-year rule, and has continued under his  successor Kibaki’s first government, then the coalition.

Odinga said the Kenya Anti-Corruption Commission (KACC),  police, state law office and the judiciary were major obstacles.
“I have seen that inexcusable delays in the investigation,  prosecution and determination of corruption cases (are) often  deliberate, to shield the accused,” he said in a speech.

Since 2003, when the KACC was established, the attorney  general’s office has had 60 convictions, 69 acquittals, and 70  discharges while 225 cases are pending in court, Odinga said.

“It is a pathetic record by the attorney general’s office  and the entire judicial system. We cannot hope to contain  corruption while our judicial system is so inadequate,” he said.

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