Kenyan Anti-Corruption Head Calls for Minister’s Resignation

Posted June 15th, 2011 at 9:55 am (UTC-5)
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Kenya's anti-corruption chief is urging the country's education minister and his deputy to step down because of the loss of millions of dollars in their ministry.

Patrick Lumumba, head of the Kenya Anti-Corruption Commission, called for the resignation of Education Minister Sam Ongeri and his permanent secretary James Kiyiapi late Tuesday.

Lumumba said the officials should take responsibility for graft in their department. He says if they do not step down, Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki should dismiss them.

On Monday, Kenya's finance ministry said some $25 million was embezzled in the education ministry between 2005 and 2009. The amount was the equivalent of one percent of the education budget for that period.

Kiyiapi said Wednesday that he will not resign his post. He says the graft in the education ministry was under investigation before he joined the ministry in June 2010.

President Kibaki was elected in 2002 promising to rein in rampant government corruption. But nearly a decade later, little has appeared to change.

Last year, the anti-corruption group Transparency International rated Kenya near the bottom on its annual corruption perceptions index. The country ranked 154th out of 178 countries surveyed.