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The Role of Citizens in the Fight against Corruption

 The National Anti-Corruption Campaign Steering Committee (NACCSC) is established vide Kenya Gazette Notice No. 6707 of 2014. It is mandated to conduct a nationwide public education, sensitization and awareness creation campaign aimed at effecting fundamental changes in the attitudes, behavior, practices and culture of Kenyans towards corruption. The campaign seeks to fully empower members of the public understand corruption, its negative effects and actions they should take to fight and prevent the vice.

NACCSC joins the African Union, the rest of the African Countries and indeed all Kenyan Citizens in the commemoration of the African Anti-Corruption Day. This year’s African Anti-Corruption Day, which is the 4th Edition and will be commemorated on 11th July, 2020 under the theme ‘Fighting Corruption through Effective and Efficient Judicial Systems’, seeks to create awareness that corruption is global phenomenon that requires all to participate in fighting it. That was the very reason why Africa as a whole came together and developed the African Union Convention on Preventing and Combating Corruption. The theme this year resonates very well with the believe by Kenyans that corrupt individuals must be taken through the judicial system to not only punish them but also to recover the assets they have stolen from the public.

 It should be noted that corruption continues to thrive even during the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic that has affected the whole world. It bleeds resources set aside to fight the pandemic and denies ordinary citizens services. This calls for all citizens to arise and fight the vice, without resting, until the war is won. As part of the awareness creation campaign, in the period ending 30th June, 2020, NACCSC implemented an anti-corruption campaign through four (4) radio stations, thus Minto FM, Truth FM, Mulembe FM and Radio Citizen, reaching an estimated 15.1 million listeners with messages against corruption and the role of the citizens. Inter Religious Council of Kenya, Transparency International (Kenya), Multi Sectoral Forum, Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission, Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions, Asset Recovery Agency and the Office of the Attorney General and Department of Justice participated in the campaign.

 The feedback by the listeners indicated that corruption was negatively affecting the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic but also indicted the citizens as willing participants. Cases of citizens offering bribes so as to cross boundaries where cross-county movement was prohibited or to exit quarantine facilities before the stipulated period had been witnessed. It, therefore, became imperative that for the fight against the vice to be won, the citizens must change their behaviour and attitudes towards the corruption and actively participate in preventive measures.

  As we commemorate this year’s African Anti-Corruption Day, NACCSC invites all Kenyans to join the fight and play our individual and collective roles. We must all support the efforts by the anti-corruption agencies that enforce the law through reporting acts of corruption, recording statements and adducing evidence in courts of law against suspects. NACCSC will continue to work with all stakeholders to deepen the understanding of corruption and the negative effects and mobilize citizens to take action, including preventive, against the vice. Let us all know that fighting corruption is the responsibility of every citizen, regardless of the status. Finally, we urge every Kenyan to observe all the applicable guidelines and protocols issued by the Ministry of Health to mitigate the Covid-19 pandemic as neglecting to do so amounts to corruption.