Transparency International-Kenya on Friday faulted the move to withdraw tighter anti-corruption laws, saying the move will derail the war on graft.
TI Executive Director Sheila Masinde questioned the ability of multi-agency efforts to tackle corruption as she pointed that the EACC and Assets Recovery Agency reportedly have been feuding over rights to recover assets.
“The recent withdrawal of the Miscellaneous Amendment Bill, 2020 proposing amendments to a number of anti-corruption laws could lead to a lost opportunity to bolster anti-corruption efforts. We expect the responsible agencies to find common ground and return the amendments to Parliament to move anti-corruption efforts forward,” Masinde said.
TI is a non-governmental organisation pushing for a corruption-free society through good governance and social justice.
Government withdrew from Parliament its proposed radical anti-corruption laws seen as a major boost to the war on corruption. Reliable sources reveal that the wars between anti-graft bodies pushed the National Assembly Majority leader Amos Kimunya to withdraw the amendments.
The Assets Recovery Agency protested arguing that it will give room for Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission to encroach on what it called its exclusive mandate to seize assets.
The Bill aims to amend the Proceeds of Crime and Anti-Money Laundering Act (Pocamla) to include EACC officers among those authorised to seize assets. It further proposes that the DPP and the EACC Chief Executive Officer should sit on the Anti-Money Laundering Advisory Board.
The provisions would also give to the EACC an exclusive mandate to fight corruption as it will investigate bribery and corruption and leave assets tracing and recovery to ARA.
Masinde however lauded the ongoing recovery of stolen assets or those acquired through proceeds of corruption is a step in the right direction and the government will pursue all ill-gotten wealth since Independence.
A move that if made, will affect many prominent people and families.
“ All efforts should be pursued to recover stolen public funds and hold those responsible accountable. It should be complemented by lifestyle audits to recover all illicitly acquired assets,” Masinde added.
On Thursday, Justice Mumbi Ngugi allowed forfeiture to the State of some properties believed to have been acquired with funds stolen from the National Youth Service.
About Sh791 million were stole in the NYS one and the suspects are required surrender a maisonette in Kasarani, a plot in Ruiru and four Toyota Prados.
Masinde also criticised that management of covid-19 funds as she questioned the transparency. “There is lack of transparency and accountability in the management of the resources.” Mainde said.
She argues that the opaqueness marred the government’s handling of resources, leading to missing Personal Protective Equipment meant for medics.
“All expenditure incurred in Covid-19 response efforts should be subjected to regular internal audits. The Office of the Auditor General should immediately audit all funds raised, allocated and disbursed to Covid-19 response efforts to date,” Masinde added.
She called for the Public Procurement Regulatory Authority to publish market prices for the equipment and other medical supplies. The move she claims will guide procurement of PPEs and other essentials at the real market prices and not inflated prices.