Renowned constitutional lawyer Patrick Lumumba has been sworn in as head of the Kenya Anti Corruption Commission (KACC). He replaces Judge Aaron Ringera, who resigned from the post of KACC director after parliament failed to renew his mandate in September 2009. John Mutonyi, a career police officer and deputy director of KACC in charge of investigations and asset tracing, has been serving as acting director for the interim period.

Lumumba, a high court lawyer, is the executive director of the African Institute of Leaders and Leadership in Nairobi and the founder of the PLO Lumumba Foundation, a philanthropic organisation that promotes social, economic and cultural development inside and outside Kenya.

Created by the Anti-Corruption and Economic Crimes Act of 2003, the KACC has the task of fighting corruption and economic crime in Kenya. It is mandated to conduct investigations into suspected corruption, advise public bodies on the elimination of corrupt practices, educate the public on the dangers of corruption and start civil proceedings for the recovery of stolen or damaged public property.

The appointment of Lumumba came as Kenya dropped from first to third place in the annual East African Bribery Index compiled by the local chapter of the global anti-corruption watchdog Transparency International, which measures bribery levels in the public and private sectors. It is preceded by Burundi, which appears in the ranking for the first time this year, in first place and then by Uganda in second place, and is followed by Tanzania and then by the other new entry, Rwanda, which is deemed to be the least corrupt country in east Africa.

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