A new bill is set to allow Kenyans to gain access to information on income, assets and liabilities of persons holding public offices as the government upsurges its fight against corruption.
If the Lifestyle Audit Bill 2019 that is in the Senate is passed into law, the wealth of top state officials including President Uhuru Kenyatta and Deputy President William Ruto will be disclosed to the public.
Published on September 6, 2019, the Bill as seen by Kenyans.co.ke demands that a wealth declaration be made available to the public through a website. The Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) will be in charge of hosting the website.
“The contents of a declaration or clarification (on income, assets and liabilities) under this Act shall be accessible to the public,” part of the proposed Bill reads.
Currently, the law demands that public officers declare their wealth every two years. However, their declaration statements remain confidential.
The Bill will also require the wealth of spouses and dependent children of public officers to be filed with the EACC.
A hefty fine of Ksh5 million or a two-year jail term or both will be applied upon the presentation of false or misleading information.
In June 2018, Kenyatta announced that all government officials and their families would undergo a lifestyle audit as he took the war against corruption a notch higher.
While reaffirming his commitment to fighting graft, Uhuru had declared that he and his deputy William Ruto would also undergo the same audit.
"All the governors and Cabinet secretaries will be audited after the two of us before all other government officials are subjected to the same exercise,” Uhuru announced during a visit to Mombasa.
Ruto reiterated Kenyatta's directive stating that he was willing to reveal his worth to the public. He added that the proposed lifestyle audit was not targeting him as the public had been made to believe.
"All these are speculations are not based on any evidence. I have been linked to several hotels such as Six Eighty, Boulevard and several choppers. I want to put to the public on what I rightfully own," Ruto stated in a past interview with NTV in July 2018.
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