EACC needs Sh4.8b to fight graft
The Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) needs about Sh4.8 billion to effectively fight corruption, trace and recover assets and hire staff.
EACC had been allocated Sh3.26 billion in the current financial year, down from Sh3.27 billion the previous year.
The Commission’s annual report says it helped recover Sh26.7 billion public assets, secured 293 convictions and averted the loss of as much as Sh136 billion in public funds.
Chief Executive Officer Twalib Mbarak said in Mombasa that the Commission needs to hire 750 additional staff to bolster the workforce and accelerate the agency’s approved operations.
“I can tell you, the budget is our biggest challenge as an organisation. We are operating on a budget of Sh3.2 billion in a year and 69 per cent of that budget goes to recurrent expenditure. We have not talked of our operations,” said Mbarak.
He said a paltry 31 per cent of the total budget allocated the Commission is utilised on the operations, leaving the Commission struggling to carry out its other mandates including education, public awareness campaigns and system reviews for public agencies.
“All these activities need a lot of money. When you have 31 per cent of the entire budget being for operations alone, you can see we are constrained. We have not talked of salaries and allowances,” added Mbarak.
The EACC boss further cited high employee turnover in his organisation as another challenge hampering its operations.
He said that the agency had invested enormous resources to train some of the skilled investigators; who have since moved to other local, regional and international institutions in search of greener pastures.
Mbarak indicated that the staff exodus started 16 years ago after the Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC) froze increments of salaries and allowances in the public service.
Some of the dejected highly trained specialist investigators exited the agency due to stagnation in one job group to join other institutions.
“We are mandated to investigate each corruption case reported to us and we have four staff in our Mombasa office, who are career investigators covering Kwale, Mombasa and Taita Taveta. We are underfunded and understaffed.
Then there is the common perception that EACC is a money gobbling commission. That it’s not worth its value,” Mbarak added.
However, the EACC boss said high staff turnover has reduced due to the impact of Covid-19 on the global and country’s economy.
Mbarak also revealed that the pandemic has also affected his agency’s operation forcing it to reduce staff medical cover and other activities. - KNA