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Wabukala: I can lead the war against graft

Retired Anglican Bishop Eliud Wabukala has said he is ready to tackle the challenges of taking over as anti-corruption commission chairman amid calls to reject the job.

Speaking at his home in Bungoma County on Tuesday, Bishop Wabukala said the war on graft faced major challenges but said he was optimistic he will overcome them should Parliament approve his nomination.

“I know there are challenges ahead but I am confident I am up to the task,” he said.

President Uhuru Kenyatta last week nominated the cleric for the post and sent his name to Parliament for vetting.

The retired bishop was among six individuals interviewed to head the commission on November 17.

Others were Mr William Kirwa, Mr Philemon Mwaisaka, Mr Peter Ondieki, Ms Rose Osoro and Mr Erastus Iguna.

Bishop Wabukala thanked President Kenyatta for his faith in him and pledged to serve diligently.

However, former Kanduyi MP Alfred Khang’ati yesterday urged Bishop Wabukala to turn down the offer, saying it will taint his image.

“I know Bishop Wabukala as a gentleman. Once he takes up the job, he will be subjected to the same hostility that his predecessors faced,” he said.

“Listen to me, my friend Bishop Wabukala. Please reject this position. This is not the right office for you,” he appealed.

Mr Khang’ati said the job was political and was bound to attract interference from people with vested interests.

“This will make it difficult for him to discharge his duties,” he said.

The former MP claimed Bishop Wabukala’s appointment was part of a wider plot by the Jubilee administration to woo voters from the Luhya community.

“Jubilee is trying to hoodwink us into voting for them by replacing a Luhya with a Luhya. This is a big lie to us as we know that without the proper support, he will not meet expectations,” he said.

Should Bishop Wabukala’s nomination be approved, he will replace Mr Philip Kinisu, who was forced to resign after a company associated with him was named as a beneficiary in the National Youth Service scandal.

Mr Wabukala, 65, has set himself apart as a soft spoken stickler for rules who led the Anglican Church in condemning corruption in the country.

He is currently chairman of the National Anti-Corruption Steering Committee, a government entity formed in November 2004 that “carries out public education, sensitisation and awareness against corruption.”

The committee’s mandate has been renewed several times after the expiry of its terms.

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