Former Anglican Archbishop Eliud Wabukala Exits EACC: Did The Man Of The Cloth Help Slay Corruption Dragon In Kenya?
When retired Anglican Archbishop Eliud Wabukala was appointed by former President Uhuru Kenyatta to head the Ethics and Anti-corruption Commission, many people wondered if the clergyman had what it takes to steer the commission and slay the corruption dragon that held Kenya hostage for decades and restore public trust to the anti-graft body.
Wabukala replaced Philip Kinisu who was thrown out of office in 2016 after being implicated in the Ksh.791 million NYS scandal.
EACC has had its share of challenges since its inception by the late President Mwai Kibaki in 2010 when he signed the Ethics and Anti-corruption bill into law, creating EACC.
Lawyer PLO Lumumba took over as its first chairman in September 2010 but would leave in August 2011 under a cloud of controversies after MPs passed a motion of no confidence against him.
EACC CEO Twalib Mbarak on Tuesday announced that Eliud Wabukala’s six-year tenure had come to an end becoming the first EACC chairman to complete his tenure.
“The Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) bids farewell to the chairperson, Archbishop (Emeritus) Dr Eliud Wabukala, EBS, whose term of office has come to an end today, Tuesday, 17th January 2023,” read the statement.
Mbarak praised Wabukala saying his focused and steady style of leadership steered the EAC body in the right direction in the fight against corruption.
“During his tenure, he was instrumental in shaping the strategic and policy direction of the Commission which has resulted in significant milestones in the fight against corruption and promotion of ethics in the country,” he said.
But did Eliud Wabukala live up to the expectations of Kenyans?
Kiambu Governor Kimani Wamatangi says Kenyans are like to judge the clergyman wrongly owing to how he conducted himself and steered the organisation.
“Eliud Wabukala is likely to be judged wrongly in my view by many. That wrong judgement may be as a result of misinterpretation of his method of leadership,” he said on Citizen TV’s DayBreak show on Thursday.
Governor Wamatangi adds that Wabukala did well during his tenure but political actors did everything to interfere with his style of leadership and take control of the anti-graft body.
“High-ranking political leaders did a lot to probably interfere with his method of leadership and take control of everything that EACC did. Most personnel were used to settle political scores and to halt the progress of some.”
“If I were told to judge Wabukala’s performance, I would give him a fair good,” the governor says.
Dadaab MP Farah Maalim says Wabukala brought in new synergy at EACC that made state departments work together to prosecute corruption cases in court.
“EACC has been working very closely with the Director of Public Prosecutions Nordin Haji to prosecute graft cases in court. That kind of synergy was not there before,” he said.
He also says that it is only in Wabukala’s era that a lot of corruptly acquired assets and monies were recovered.
“EACC has always been on the spot. The agency has done a fantastic job in the sense that they respond to every matter you raise. There have been a lot of recoveries,” Maalim says.
In his last message to President Ruto, Wabukala exuded confidence that he has left a strong and stable anti-graft body with a strategic focus on asset recovery, law enforcement and education.
“I want to assure you your excellency that as I leave, EACC is stable with a strategic focus on asset recovery, law enforcement, education and awareness for people to understand that corruption will not help us as a country,” Wabukala said.