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)
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

Taliban's New Leader Says Jihad Will Continue

Top US Afghan diplomat also meets with Pakistani, Afghan officials following news of Mullah Omar's death More

Video US Landmark Pushes Endangered Species

People gathered in streets, on rooftops in Manhattan to see image highlights that covered 33 floors of Empire State Building More

World’s Widest Suspension Bridge Being Built Over Bosphorus

Once built, Yavuz Sultan Selim Bridge will span 2 kilometers with about 1.5 kilometers over water, and will be longest suspension bridge in world carrying rail system 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.
Iraqi Yazidis Fear Death of Their Communityi
X
Sharon Behn
August 03, 2015 2:23 PM
A year ago on August 3, Islamic State militants stormed the homelands of Iraq’s Yazidi minority, killing hundreds of men and enslaving thousands of women. The scenes of desperate Yazidi families crowding on the top of Sinjar mountain without food or water spurred Kurdish fighters into action, an emergency airlift and the start of the U.S. airstrike campaign against the Islamic State Sunni extremists. VOA's Sharon Benh reports from northern Iraq.
Video

Video Iraqi Yazidis Fear Death of Their Community

A year ago on August 3, Islamic State militants stormed the homelands of Iraq’s Yazidi minority, killing hundreds of men and enslaving thousands of women. The scenes of desperate Yazidi families crowding on the top of Sinjar mountain without food or water spurred Kurdish fighters into action, an emergency airlift and the start of the U.S. airstrike campaign against the Islamic State Sunni extremists. VOA's Sharon Benh reports from northern Iraq.
Video

Video Bangkok Warned It Soon Could Be Submerged

Italy's Venice and America's New Orleans are not the only cities gradually submerging. The nearly ten million residents of the Bangkok urban area now must confront warnings the city could become uninhabitable in a few decades. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from the Thai capital.
Video

Video Inclusive Gym Gets People With Disabilities in Fitness Spirit

Individuals with special needs are 58 percent more likely to be obese than the general population. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, they also have an increased likelihood of anxiety, depression and social isolation. But a sports club outside Washington wants to make a difference in these people's lives. With Carol Pearson narrating, VOA's June Soh reports.
Video

Video Astronauts Train Underwater for Deep Space Missions

Manned deep space missions are still a long way off, but space agencies are already testing procedures, equipment and human stamina for operations in extreme environment conditions. Small groups of astronauts take turns in spending days in an underwater lab, off Florida’s southern coast, simulating future missions to some remote world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Special Olympics Show Competitors' Skill, Determination

Special Olympics competitions will wrap up Saturday in Los Angeles, and the closing ceremony for athletes with intellectual disabilities will be held Sunday night. In a week of competition, athletes have shown what they can do through skill and determination. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Civil Rights Leaders Struggled to Achieve Voting Rights Act

Fifty years ago, lawmakers approved, and U.S. President Lyndon Johnson signed, the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The measure outlawed racial discrimination in voting, giving millions of blacks in many parts of the southern United States federal enforcement of the right to vote. Correspondent Chris Simkins introduces us to some civil rights leaders who were on the front lines in the struggle for voting rights.
Video

Video Shooter’s Grill: Serving Food with a Touch of the Second Amendment

Shooter's Grill, a restaurant in Rifle, Colorado, attracts visitors from all over the world as well as local patrons. The reason? Waitresses openly carry loaded firearms as they serve food, and customers are welcome to carry them, too. VOA's Enming Liu and Lin Yang paid a visit to Shooter's Grill, and heard different opinions about this unique establishment.
Video

Video Despite Controversy, Business Owner Continues Sale of Confederate Flags

At Cooter’s, a store in rural Sperryville, Virginia, about 120 kilometers west of Washington, D.C., Confederate flags are flying off the shelves. The red, white and blue battle flag, with 13 white stars representing the Confederate states, was carried by southern forces during the U.S. Civil War in the 1860s. The South had seceded from the Union over several key issues of disagreement, including slavery. VOA’s Deborah Block has the story.
Video

Video Booming London Property a ‘Haven for Dirty Money’

Billions of dollars of so-called ‘dirty money’ from the proceeds of crime - especially from Russia - are being laundered through the London property market, according to anti-corruption activists. As Henry Ridgwell reports from the British capital, the government has pledged to crack down on the practice.
Video

Video Hometown of Boy Scouts of America Founder Reacts to Gay Leader Decision

Ottawa, Illinois, is the hometown of W.D. Boyce, who founded the Boy Scouts of America in 1910. In Ottawa, where Scouting remains an important part of the legacy of the community, the end of the organization's ban on openly gay adult leaders was seen as inevitable. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.

VOA Blogs