Kenyan officials to take lie-detector tests

5 Jun 18

Kenyan government procurement and accounting chiefs have been told to stop working in order to take lie-detector tests in a move to root out corruption.

President Uhuru Kenyatta said that all procurement and accounting heads working for the government should undergo “fresh vetting”.

He said: “All heads of procurement and accounts in government ministries, departments and agencies and parastatals will undergo fresh wedding including polygraph testing to determine their integrity and suitability.”

The move comes after nearly 9bn Kenyan shillings ($90m) vanished from the National Youth Service, a government agency that provides training opportunities for young people.

It was later alleged that the funds were stolen through fake invoices for services that were never rendered.

In March, the auditor general of Kenya – one of East Africa’s largest economies – said the health ministry was missing 11bn shillings ($108m).

A government spokesperson added in a memo: “All heads of procurement and accounting units in ministries, departments, agencies and state corporations have been instructed to step aside with immediate effect.

“Before they vacate, they have also been instructed to hand over to their immediate deputies.”

The officers will have to take lie-detector tests and also have to undergo a lifestyle audit.

The memo said that officers are required to submit personal information – including details of their assets, liabilities and previous record of service – to the Office of the Head of Public Services.

The spokesperson added: “The exercise is geared towards determining suitability to continue holding office in the public trust and promote confidence in the public service.”

The tests will be concluded before the start of the next financial year – which starts in July – and those who fail will be suspended. 

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