Private Sector sponsors Bill to punish bribe givers and recipients

Private Sector sponsors Bill to punish bribe givers and recipients

President Uhuru Kenyatta has formed a special working group to come up with concrete measures on the best way to address the rampant graft in the country.

The special committee between the government and the Kenya Private Sector Alliance (KEPSA) will be led by National Treasury Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich and consist of the CS Industrialization, CS Internal Coordination, CS ICT, the Chief of Staff, Chief Justice, the Director of Public Prosecution, government regulators and the private sector.

The committee will meet and explore new ways to deal with and deter corruption while at the same time addressing Kenya’s negative perception in regard to corruption.

The committee is expected to report findings to the President in one week.

According to the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) CEO Halake Waqo, 90% of corruption perception is attributed to procurement and bribery.

Procurement accounts for 70% of all corruption cases while bribery accounts for 20%.

The EACC said it is currently prosecuting 286 corruption cases, most of which are linked to transactions between procurement officers and private sector players.

EACC is seeking harsher penalties levied against those found guilty of corruption. The legal process was also identified as a challenge along with the quality of investigations.

The private sector proposed that the government only deal with companies that ascribe to and uphold a code of ethics that commit to ant-corruption.

In addition, the Private Sector has drafted an Anti-Bribery Bill.

The Bill covers bribery in both the public and private sector and seeks to punish offences relating to bribery including soliciting or receiving a bribe; it broadens the range of those liable to penal sanctions to include intermediaries of bribery over and above actual recipients.

The Bill seeks to address corruption in the tenders whereby if a tender involves corruption then the tender committee is sacked and prosecuted as well as any company that is found corrupt or that stops a tender that is tendered right.

The Bill borrows from best practices in the United Kingdom and Rwanda.

The private sector also proposed the introduction of special tribunals to determine corruption cases and ensure that cases do not drag on.

The private sector also advocated the elimination of illicit trade through the formalization of payment systems to foster traceability of funds. This will ensure that all transitions are visible and traceable making it difficult for corrupt individuals and institutions to transact.

President Kenyatta was hosting the 5th Presidential Round Table at State House, Nairobi.

The meeting brought together the Executive, Legislature, Judiciary, County governments and the Private Sector under the umbrella of KEPSA to discuss issues affecting the local business environment.

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Maureen Murimi
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