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Cabinet Secretaries on EACC radar over drastic change in lifestyle

EACC CEO Twalib Mbarak: You get someone wearing a watch worth Sh10 million and before joining the government they were wearing Casio. So those are now red flags that this person may be doing something.

President William Ruto chairs Cabinet meeting at Kisumu State Lodge on October 9, 2023

The Ethics and Anti Corruption Commission has put present Cabinet Secretaries on its radar, particularly those whose lifestyles seem to have changed drastically after being appointed.

This development comes as part of the EACC's commitment to holding highly exposed political figures accountable for any signs of illicit enrichment.

Highly Exposed Political Persons Under the Radar

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According to the EACC, individuals holding key positions such as Cabinet Secretaries (CS), Principal Secretaries (PS), or heading prominent organizations fall under the category of highly exposed political persons.

The commission raised concerns about drastic lifestyle transformations, highlighting instances where officials upgraded from modest possessions to extravagant items.

The EACC issued a stern warning to Cabinet Secretaries, emphasizing that their actions would not go unnoticed.

"If today you are a minister and you believe you can operate with impunity, do it but one day EACC will catch up with you. This country is governed by law, and if there is anything you mess up as a CS, PS, or CEO, the EACC will catch up with you," Mbarak said.

In a recent development, former Tourism Cabinet Secretary Najib Balala was arrested by the EACC in December.

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The charges against him include procurement fraud and irregular payment of Sh8.5 billion.

Balala, along with other individuals, including former Principal Secretary Leah Gwiyo, Joseph Odero, and Flora Ngina, is facing allegations of fraudulently transferring funds from the Ministry of Tourism, for the construction of the Utalii College Coast Branch.

According to EACC, only Sh2 billion had been allocated for the project, which has stalled.

Mbarak shed light on the agency's most intriguing cases, citing the dramatic nature of the case involving former Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko.

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Mbarak, a former soldier with 15 years of military service, also expressed resilience in the face of potential threats or intimidation during the course of his duties.

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