June 11, 2015 / 7:47 AM / 5 years ago

No graft charges for Kenyan agriculture, transport ministers - prosecutor

Suspended Kenyan Minister for transport and infrastructure Michael Kamau stands in the dock at the Milimani Law Courts in the capital Nairobi, June 4, 2015. REUTERS/Thomas Mukoya

NAIROBI (Reuters) - Kenya’s chief prosecutor said on Wednesday he would not bring corruption charges against Kenya’s agriculture and transport ministers, though his team would press on with investigations into the energy minister’s affairs.

The three were among a group of senior officials criticised in a report by Kenya’ anti-corruption watchdog in March. All said they were innocent, but Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta ordered them to vacate their posts during investigations.

Diplomats and analysts say corruption is endemic in Kenya and very few of the allegations outlined in the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission report have resulted in criminal charges.

Director of public prosecutions Keriaki Tobiko said he would close the case against Felix Koskei, who heads the Agriculture ministry, and Michael Kamau of the transport ministry, because of lack of evidence.

Investigations into Energy and Petroleum Cabinet Secretary Davis Chirchir would continue, he added in his statement.

Kenyatta made the fight against graft a priority on taking office in 2013, but critics say he has failed to sweep out corrupt officials in a nation where corruption is seen as a major obstacle to business, law enforcement and provision of public services.

The report by Kenya’s ethics commission outlined allegations against 175 government officials, including members of parliament, senators and governors, in what local media dubbed the “List of Shame.”

Reporting by Humphrey Malalo; Editing by Edith Honan and Andrew Heavens

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