News / Africa

Fraud Case Against Minister Delayed as Kenya Falls in Global Corruption Rankings

A handful of anti-corruption demonstrators hold a chain during a protest in downtown Nairobi, 17 Feb 2010 (file photo)
A handful of anti-corruption demonstrators hold a chain during a protest in downtown Nairobi, 17 Feb 2010 (file photo)
TEXT SIZE - +
Michael Onyiego

A $1.2 million fraud case facing Kenyan Minister William Ruto has stalled due to a court technicality.  The setback occurs as Kenya drops nearly 10 places on a world corruption ranking.

The expected start of a fraud case filed against former Higher Education Minister William Ruto has been delayed after a paperwork issue stalled proceedings.  

The former minister is accused of receiving more than $1 million through the sale of public land to the Kenyan Pipeline Corporation.  Ruto is alleged to have taken that parcel of land from the protected Ngong Forest, just outside the Kenyan capital, Nairobi.

Last week, Kenya's High Court denied a Ruto petition to stop the case.  But Chief Magistrate Gilbert Mutembi says the trial cannot proceed without an order from the High Court that indicates the Ruto petition had been defeated.

Meanwhile, the annual Transparency International Corruption Perception Index reveals that Kenya has fallen eight spots in the global rankings, to 154 out of 178 countries surveyed.  While Kenya's score of 2.1 was only slightly worse than its 2009 score of 2.2, Kenya is now tied with Russia and ranked below Zimbabwe in global corruption.

According to Transparency International-Kenya Executive Director Samuel Kimeu, Kenya's new constitution could help the country rebound in future reports.

"What this country needs to do is to take advantage of the new constitution to fight corruption in a more decisive manner," said Kimeu.  "There is a whole chapter - Chapter 6 - which deals with leadership and integrity that has the potential to fundamentally change the way things are done in this country."

Kimeu told VOA the delay to Ruto's case was procedural and was not likely to present any serious issue to the court proceedings.  He said the trial of the former Cabinet member is a promising sign, but is not yet an indication of commitment to fighting corruption.

"We have also had previous cases where people have been asked to step aside or have been charged in court, and we have also had a situation where they sneaked back even, sometimes, without the investigation," Kimeu added.  "We can only wait and see what is going to happen.  I think Kenyans are looking forward to the day when people who engage in corruption and steal from public coffers are brought to account by way of successful prosecution and confiscation of whatever they have stolen."

Ruto is not the only prominent politician facing fraud charges in Kenya.  Parliament is scheduled to hold hearings to decide whether Foreign Minister Moses Wetang'ula was involved in the purchase of land in Japan for a Kenyan embassy, a deal that lost the government more than $13 million.

On Monday, the Mayor of Nairobi was arrested for his involvement in a scandal surrounding the purchase of land for a city cemetery.  He has denied the charges against him.

You May Like

Multimedia Anti-Keystone XL Protests Continue

Demonstrators are worried about pipeline's effect on climate change, their traditional way of life, health and safety More

Thailand's Political Power Struggle Continues

Court gave Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra until May 2 to prepare her defense over abuse of power charges but uncertainty remains over election timing More

Malaysia Plane Search Tests Limits of Ocean Mapping Technology

Expert tells VOA existing equipment’s maximum operating depth is around 6 kilometers as operation continues on ocean bed for any trace of MH370 More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Messagei
X
Penelope Poulou
April 22, 2014 5:53 PM
Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Message

Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pro-Russian Separatists Plan 'Federalization Referendum' in Eastern Ukraine

Pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine say they plan to move forward next month with a referendum vote for greater autonomy, despite the Geneva agreement reached with Russia, the U.S. and Ukraine to end the political conflict. VOA's Brian Padden reports from the city of Donetsk in Eastern Ukraine.
Video

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

French filmmaker Luc Jacquet won worldwide acclaim for his 2005 Academy Award-winning documentary "March of the Penguins". Now Jacquet is back with a new film that takes movie-goers deep into the heart of a tropical rainforest - not only to celebrate its grandeur, but to make the case for its survival. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Boston Marathon Bittersweet for Many Runners

Monday's running of the Boston Marathon was bittersweet for many of the 36,000 participants as they finished the run that was interrupted by a double bombing last year. Many gathered along the route paid respect to the four people killed as a result of two bombings near the finish line. VOA's Carolyn Presutti returned to Boston this year to follow two runners, forever changed because of the crimes.
Video

Video International Students Learn Film Production in World's Movie Capital

Hollywood - which is part of Los Angeles - is the movie capital of the world, and many aspiring filmmakers go there in hopes of breaking into the movie business. Mike O'Sullivan reports that regional universities are also a magnet for students who hope to become producers or directors.
Video

Video Pacific Rim Trade Deal Proves Elusive

With the U.S.-led war in Iraq ended and American military involvement in Afghanistan winding down, President Barack Obama has sought to pivot the country's foreign policy focus towards Asia. One aspect of that pivot is the negotiation of a free-trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations. But as Obama leaves this week on a trip to four Asian countries he has found it very difficult to complete the trade pact. VOA's Ken Bredemeier has more from Washington.
Video

Video Autistic Adults Face Housing, Job Challenges

Many parents of children with disabilities fear for the future of their adult child. It can be difficult to find services to help adults with disabilities - physical, mental or emotional - find work or live on their own. The mother of an autistic boy set up a foundation to advocate for the estimated 1.2 million American adults with autism, a developmental disorder that causes communication difficulties and often social difficulties. VOA's Faiza Elmasry reports.
AppleAndroid