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Aaron Ringera Finally Resigns

Posted by Administrator on September 30, 2009

  • Xan Rice in Nairobi
  • guardian.co.uk, Wednesday 30 September 2009 17.55 BST
  • Article history
  • Aaron Ringera
     Aaron Ringera has resigned from Kenya’s anti-corruption committee. Photograph: Khalil Senosi/AP

    The head of Kenya‘s anti-corruption commission resigned today after the country’s parliament rejected his reappointment by President Mwai Kibaki.

    Retired judge Aaron Ringera, whose £20,000 a month salary made him the top-paid civil servant, is widely viewed as having failed to tackle high-level graft and to recover hundreds of millions of pounds in looted funds. His two deputies, who were similarly reappointed without reference to the KACC’s board or parliament, have also quit.

    The resignations are embarrassing for Kibaki, who has a history of making public sector appointments with little reference to the candidate’s suitability. It is also a sign of his diminishing presidential powers, something civil society activists say is essential for the country to move forward.

    With donors piling on the pressure – the US last week listed corruption as one of the reasons for threatening 15 top Kenyan officials with a travel ban – Ringera said he was stepping down in the best interest of the country.

    “He had lost the confidence of public and parliament so he had to go,” said Mwalimu Mati, executive director of Mars Group, an anti-corruption organisation. “It’s a positive step for Kenya, even if the motives of parliament had more to do with politics than fighting graft.”

    Parliament is controlled by opposition politicians, who say that under the coalition government structure Kibaki has an obligation to consult them on key appointments.

    Ringera, who has argued that the KACC does not have sufficient powers, yesterday defended his record, saying that he had recovered about $60m since 2003. Though no senior government official has been successfully prosecuted for corruption during his tenure, Ringera said he had recommended that cases be opened against least 12 MPs. About a quarter of MPs have also been under investigation over inflated mileage claims.

    Source: www.guardian.co.uk

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