State officials to declare wealth in proposed law
Oct. 10, 2019
Nominated Senator Farhiya Ali Haji has proposed a new law that seeks to make Kenyans aware of the wealth accumulated by all public servants.
Under the proposed law, the president and his deputy will be required to share details of their net worth with the general public.
The Lifestyle Audit Bill, 2019 will ensure that Kenyans are not barred from accessing information regarding the wealth of top State officials.
The information that will be available to the public includes the income, assets as well as liabilities of State officers.
The Bill seeks to ensure there is integrity in public service, as there is currently no legal framework for conducting lifestyle audits.
“There is no legal framework on how a lifestyle audit is to be carried out on a public or a State officer who is suspected to be living beyond that person’s lawful income,” Haji argues in the Bill.
Under the proposed law, government officers will be expected to fill self-declared wealth declaration forms. The information on the forms will be on a website which can easily be accessed by the public. The database, which will be unrestricted, is expected to be managed by the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC).
Other State officers who will be expected to declare their wealth include cabinet secretaries, MPs, principal secretaries, senators, top county officials, senior civil servants and executives in State-owned firms.
If adopted, the law will make EACC the source of all critical information needed in the fight against graft.
In June 2018, President Uhuru Kenyatta ordered a lifestyle audit for officials in his government as well as their families.