NAIROBI, Kenya — It doesn’t pay to fight corruption in Kenya, a country that regularly bottoms out lists of the world’s most corrupt countries.
Ask John Githongo, who faced death threats and was forced into exile when he was the country’s anti-corruption chief.
Or ask Patrick Lumumba, the latest victim of Kenyan lawmakers’ determined efforts to block accountability.
On Monday Lumumba and four other senior officials at the Kenya Anti-Corruption Commission (KACC) were fired after Parliament passed a bill establishing a new ‘Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission’ thus removing the leadership of the now-defunct KACC.
Lumumba had upset MPs with his dogged — and very public — pursuit of corrupt politicians.
In a parliamentary debate last week one minister, Charity Ngilu, who has been investigated by the KACC, said of Lumumba: "If the current person who is sitting as the director [of KACC] was going to be given [prosecution] powers I do not think there would be anybody sitting in this Parliament."
The comment was meant as a criticism of Lumumba but sounded rather more like an admission of guilt.