Gov’t sets aside Ksh 1.6 billion to fight corruption

Gov't sets aside Ksh 1.6 billion to fight corruption

The Government has set aside Ksh 1.6 billion to help in the fight against corruption in the country.

Speaking at Parliament during the State of the Nation address, President Uhuru Kenyatta said that Chief Justice Dr. Willy Mutunga has created a specialised division of the High Court to handle corruption and economic crimes.

“To complement investigation and prosecution, we are investing in preventive measures, as well as tracking, seizing, and confiscating the proceeds of corruption. Let me briefly explain our strengthened approach. We have put in place a multi-agency institutional framework bringing together all entities responsible for investigation and prosecution,” said the Head of State.

The President stated that the sharing of information between entities responsible for investigation and prosecution is now more efficient, and operational aspects of investigations and prosecution are now being completed without undue delays.

“The Director of Public Prosecutions has in the last year trained and deployed 90 special prosecutors to try corruption cases. The Financial Reporting Centre and the Asset Recovery Agency are now operational.”

The President also revealed that the government has traced and is now preparing for seizure, property and assets worth 1.6 billion shillings acquired using proceeds of corruption.

“We intend to create a fund to which the recovered funds will be deposited with a view to use them for specials projects to uplift the vulnerable,” he added.

The government has also traced and seized 400 million shillings of assets acquired through stolen National Youth Service funds.

According to the President, there has also been progress in the Jersey and Anglo-Leasing cases.

Kenya has for a long time been involved in a protracted war against corruption.

“Last year, I stood here and renewed our commitment to standing against corruption, an action that led to a robust national debate, renewed scrutiny of public officers and strengthened institutional tools against corruption. I pledged that the days of wanton corruption were numbered; and that those who chose the way of graft would be brought to book.”

According to President Kenyatta, there are more than 360 corruption cases before the courts, most of them involving senior public officials.

“I took the unprecedented step of dismissing a third of my Cabinet: a painful but necessary decision. Those, in years gone by, who might have used their positions as a shield against prosecution, find themselves called to account for their actions: Cabinet Secretaries, Principal Secretaries, Governors, and several chief executives of state corporations have been charged for offences related to corruption. My message is clear: there will be no sacred cows.”

The Head of State urged the Judiciary to reduce and eliminate the exploitation of legal technicalities to defeat the course of justice.

“Kenyans are justified to demand from the judiciary a tightened regime that is impatient with unwarranted delay.  The judiciary has the funding and the requisite leadership. It must therefore play its rightful role. It must not be perceived to be helpless, a bystander, or complacent in this war that is a threat to our development and our security,” he said.

Last week, Cabinet approved the Bribery Bill 2015 that outlines stringent legal measures to check graft between the public and private sectors.

The objective of the Bill is to criminalize both offering and receiving of bribes by any person, including local or foreign entities, and to make specific requirements for private entities to have in place procedures for the prevention of bribery.

President Kenyatta has in the past noted that 70 per cent of corruption in the country is in the procurement departments which do business with the private sector.

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Maureen Murimi
Story By Maureen Murimi
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