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Uhuru meets with Graft Body

The Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission chiefs have blamed other state agencies for interfering in its work to give it a bad image, the Star can reveal.

Nitty-gritty details pieced together from interviews with EACC insiders indicate that the EACC bosses met President Uhuru Kenyatta at State House on August 18 to seek his assurance on the graft crackdown.

The officers feared the commission would be disbanded and had to seek protection. They also wanted to brief Uhuru on the problems they face.

The Star has reliably learnt that the officers raised the Sh3.2 billion Ruaraka land case and interference in their operations by the National Intelligence Service, the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions and the Directorate of Criminal Investigations.

The EACC bosses briefed Uhuru on the Ruaraka land saga and the recommendations by the investigators to have 25 people, among them top government officials, prosecuted over irregular payments.

Highly placed sources familiar with the internal operations at Integrity Centre and the State House meeting said they claimed the ODPP was stopping prosecution of the suspects.

Spymaster Philip Kameru was accused at the meeting of allegedly pushing for removal of names of high-profile government officials who the EACC wants charged.

The thinking at the EACC is that DPP Noordin Haji had on several occasions returned the Ruaraka land file to the investigators with new instructions to stifle the case.

Its investigators believe the evidence they had presented to the prosecutor was sufficient and returning the file with fresh demands was aimed at pushing the EACC to expunge the names of senior government officials. The EACC bosses believe the NIS was pushing the DPP, himself a former senior NIS officer, to frustrate the investigations.

“We wanted the president to hear our story now that we have been painted as inefficient and the DCI is seen as the best in fighting corruption,” a senior Integrity Centre official told the Star.

The spy agency was also accused of being behind the negative image the EACC has developed lately. It  has been accused of influencing perception that the DCI was in a better position to deal with corruption.

The EACC chiefs believe the NIS was scheming to have senior officials at Valley Road forced out of office or have the commission disbanded.

Save for the official statement issued by the president’s media team, there has not been any other communication on the meeting from EACC.

President Uhuru Kenyatta with the Ethics and Anti-corruption Commission Chairman, His Grace Rtd. Arch Bishop Dr. Eliud Wabukala and Vice-Chair Sophia Lepuchirit at State House, Nairobi Photo PSCU

The sources said prior to the meeting, the EACC commissioners and secretariat bosses had met several times at Integrity Centre to draw their agenda and come up with a common position.

A statement from State House on the meeting corroborates some of the information provided to the Star on why the anti-graft agency bosses sought audience.

President Uhuru had assured the EACC chiefs of his support in the fight against corruption, the statment said.

Uhuru is also reported to have asked the EACC to work together with the DCI and the ODPP.

The President said the anti-corruption fight will bear fruit if it is conducted through the multi-agency framework that brings together the DCI, the ODPP and the EACC as well as other security agencies.

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