Kenya’s President, Uhuru Kenyatta, has ordered all state procurement personnel in the country to undergo lie-detector test as part of measures to tackle graft.
This directive was issued yesterday after dozens of officials and business people were detained for alleged theft of public funds.
“All heads of procurement and accounts in government ministries, departments, agencies and parastatals will undergo fresh vetting including polygraph testing, to determine their integrity and suitability,” President Uhuru Kenyatta said in a statement released by his office.
“Those who shall fail the vetting (through lie-detector test) will stand suspended. I expect this exercise to be concluded before the start of the new financial year (2018/2019),” he added.
The next financial year begins on July 1.
While Kenyatta pledged to stamp out graft when first elected in 2013, critics say he has been slow in pursuing top officials. No high-profile conviction has occurred since he took office.
On Thursday, the director of criminal investigations said 10 financial institutions had come under investigation on suspicion of handling the missing funds, including the East African country’s biggest bank by assets, KCB Group, and Standard Chartered’s Kenyan business.
The case triggered protests in the capital, Nairobi, where 200 people marched through the streets to protest against what they said were “high levels of corruption”.