Kenya’s anti-graft boss given week to leave office


Kenya’s anti-corruption chief and his deputies have been given seven days to leave office after lawmakers adopted legislation establishing a revamped anti-graft watchdog enshrined under the new constitution.

Corruption czar Patrick Lumumba’s departure was required as part of the legislation passed last week, but it will disappoint many Kenyans who saw the renowned lawyer as a breath of fresh air in what many consider Kenya’s endlessly disappointing fight against graft.

A statement published by the Kenyan Anti-Corruption Commission’s advisory board said new directors would be appointed within a week and assume office within three months. In the interim, temporary managers will oversee the running of the body, Reuters reports.

Lumumba took the helm of an organisation criticised for failing to bring high-profile offenders to book a little over a year ago .

His public sting operations on Kenya’s bribe-loving policemen and the rhetoric surrounding his determination to hold the “big fish” to account raised hopes among some Kenyans that the long promised fight against corruption was about to get serious.

But political observers were sceptical from the outset about what he could achieve in a country where politics and graft have gone hand-in-hand for decades.

Lumumba declined to comment when contacted by Reuters.

Earlier this year Lumumba said the political will to fight corruption in Kenya was below par and the country risked unrest because graft was choking investment and jobs.