The Norwegian Embassy in Nairobi, together with representatives from EU Member States Germany, Sweden and United Kingdom, as well as Canada, Japan, Switzerland and USA, criticised the Kenyan authorities severely in a joint press release on February 8.
11/02/2005 :: It was pointed out that the resignation of the Kenyan government’s most important representative in the fight against corruption, John Githongo from his position as Permanent Secretary for Governance and Ethics, seriously brought into question the authorities’ credibility in the fight against corruption. The press release also demanded that the authorities resume their anti-corruption efforts and demonstrate political will at the highest level to eradicate corruption and abuse of power.
The day after, eighteen EU countries and the Delegation of the European Commission warned that the manner in which the Kenyan Governmenet tackles corruption would be a key factor in making decisions on pending bilateral programmes.
“Mr. Githongo’s resignation is a serious setback for anti-corruption efforts in Kenya,” says Norwegian Minister of International Development Hilde F. Johnson.
The main focus of the Norwegian development co-operation with the Kenyan authorities is on the fight against corruption. “Continued Norwegian support channelled through the Kenyan authorities is conditional on political willingness to sustain anti-corruption efforts. President Kibaki has made clear statements on zero tolerance for corruption. This was our main justification for resuming development co-operation with Kenya in 2004,” says Ms Johnson.
Through this development co-operation, Norway has supported the unit for fighting corruption at the Office of the President, and contributed to the establishment of the Kenya Anti-Corruption Commission and to the national programme for strengthening the justice sector.
“We will take part in efforts to put considerable pressure on the government to follow up its stated goal of zero tolerance for corruption. The Kenyan people deserve the fight against corruption to be continued so that the country’s resources can be channelled into eradicating poverty, rather than lining the pockets of individuals in positions of power and influence. The response from the Kenyan authorities will be decisive for the way in which we organise our future support for anti-corruption efforts in Kenya,” says Minister of International Development Hilde F. Johnson.