The Integrity Walk 2019 which is a peoples’ initiative inaugurated as an annual event by Transparency International Kenya (TI-Kenya) was held on 28th September 2019. The Walk was among the activities to mark the International Day for Universal Access to Information (IDUAI), celebrated globally on 28th September of every year.
IDUAI has particular relevance with the 2030 Development Agenda, and in particular with Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 16:particularly under targets 16.5 and 16.6 to “Substantially reduce corruption and bribery in all their forms”; and “Develop effective, accountable and transparent institutions at all levels”; all predicated on having information systems based on integrity, transparency and accountability.
Since 2017, the Integrity Walk has attracted the support of ordinary citizens, civil society organisations, public institutions and private companies through participation, facilitation and resources. The 2019 Integrity Walk hopes to build on this support to raise the profile of anti-corruption initiatives by ordinary citizens and mobilise more citizens and resources to support these initiatives.
The main goal for the Integrity Walk 2019 was to build a critical mass of citizens who believe in and are ready to protect the Constitution of Kenya in upholding the National Values and Principles of Governance and promote our shared aspirations on Leadership and Integrity. The Walk offered an opportunity to ordinary citizens at all levels, leaders, anti-corruption agencies, civil society organisations, public and private institutions an opportunity to raise the profile on anti-corruption issues and to advocate for transparency, accountability, integrity and better service delivery from public institutions.
The Integrity Walk 2019 included other activities other than the Walk including: public exhibitions by oversight institutions, civil society organisations (CSOs), and private sector players; addresses by various public officials and citizens representing different segments of the society; and entertainment at the main venue at Freedom Corner in Uhuru Park, Nairobi.
TI-Kenya partnered with oversight institutions, civil society organisations, private companies and citizen movements who supported the walk-through contributions and participation. The walk was attended by over 600 participants representing members of the public from various backgrounds including: ordinary citizens, public officials, volunteers supporting the walk activities, children groups, members of the National Police Service Band providing entertainment, artists also supporting entertainment along the route and at the event venue.
The Walk further reached over 2,000 people along the integrity walk route through publicity materials and messaging throughout the day at the open venue for the public event.
Ms. Sheila Masinde the Programmes Manager at TI-Kenya and Hon. Florence Kajuju the Chairperson of Commission of Administrative Justice (CAJ) made welcoming and opening remarks respectively before the Walk was started off at Freedom Corner by the Kenya Police and Administration Police Bands who also led the participants in signing the National Anthem.
The participants were led to Integrity Centre where the official flag-off for the walk was led by the (Rtd) Archbishop Eliud Wabukala – EACC Chairperson and other guests including: Archbishop Dr. Timothy Nzioki – NCCK Chairperson who also led in prayers over the event; Mrs. Bernadette Musundi – TI-Kenya Chairperson who made remarks on behalf of the TI-Kenya Board and committed to continue supporting the oversight institution in implementing their mandate and sensitising citizens on their role in the fight against corruption; Mr. Paul Banoba the Transparency International Regional Advisor Eastern Africa; Mr. Nicholas Mutuku who made remarks on behalf of the Director of Public Prosecutions; Mr. Patrick Ndunda who made remarks on behalf of the Director of Criminal Investigations; and Mr. Kyle McCarter the US Ambassador to Kenya. The guests emphasised on the need to enable access to information as a way of enhancing transparency and supporting the fight against corruption.
The Walk had five stops along the 6km route flagged off from Integrity Centre as follows:
STOPS and SIGNIFICANCE of the ROUTE
STOP I – INTEGRITY CENTRE
- Oversight Institutions (EACC, ODPP, IPOA,) – representing institutions which have a responsibility in the justice chain to ensure investigations and prosecution of corruption.
STOP II – MILLIMANI LAW COURTS
- Law Enforcement Agencies (Judiciary, State Law Office – AG, National Police Service) – representing charged with enforcement and interpretation of laws to safeguard in the fight against corruption.
STOP III-AFYA HOUSE
- Government Institutions (Kenyatta National Hospital, Nairobi Area Traffic Police Headquarters, Ministry of Lands, Ministry of Transport, Ministry of Health, Nairobi County Government) representing public institutions that have been susceptible to corruption and mismanagement of public funds.
STOP IV – PARLIAMENT
- Political Players (Harambee House, DP Office, Senate, Nairobi County Assembly, National Assembly) representing institutions and people who make policies and are charged with oversight mandate over other state organs.
STOP V – FREEDOM CORNER
- Freedom Corner in Uhuru Park signifying the importance of people’s freedom and Sovereignty of the People to hold leaders to account.
- Religious Groups (All Saints, Nairobi Central SDA Church – Maxwell, CITAM Valley Road) all charged with charting the moral route and praying for the country.
Among the exhibitors at the event who interacted with participants on their roles in enhancing access to information included:
- TI-Kenya – Registration; Provision of Education Materials; and Provision of Free Legal Aid;
- The Judiciary Ombudsman – Complaints handling on issues relating to the Judiciary;
- The Ombudsman – Commission on Administrative Justice – Complaints handling on public maladministration and information regarding Access to Information;
- Institute of Certified Public Accountants – Engagements on their mandate;
- Media Council of Kenya – Engagements on their mandate;
- Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission – Complaints handling on issues relating to corruption;
- Kenya Revenue Authority – Engagements on their mandate;
- The Institute of Social Accountability – Engagements on their mandate;
- Liasion Insurance brokers – Engagements on their mandate;
- Lukenya Getaway Ltd – Engagements on their mandate;
- Resolution Health – Engagements on their mandate;
- Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions – Complains handing and awareness on matters relating to public prosecutions;
Launch of Nominations for the Integrity Champions
TI-Kenya launched the nomination process for the Integrity Champions. The nomination was launched through the Action for Transparency (A4T) mobile app and later online through various social media platforms. The successful nominees would be announced during the International Anti-Corruption Day on 9th December 2019.
Check the Integrity Walk Website for more information.