EDITORIAL: Intensify war against endemic corruption


EDITORIAL: Intensify war against endemic corruption

Corrupt entities have taken advantage of global tax havens to evade paying taxes as well as hide proceeds of crime. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

Kenya’s fight against corruption has been elusive with no meaningful progress to show for the resources committed to taming the menace.

However, the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) has been taking baby steps in the right direction. Lawmakers are also reinforcing their resolve to tame corruption with the latest Bill that proposes a fine of Sh5 million or a 10-year jail term for individuals who fail to report bribery.

The battle against corruption should be everyone’s responsibility. At an individual level, we should strive to make it difficult for the corrupt to thrive by blowing the whistle on those that steal from taxpayers or abet the malpractice.

The State agencies should also ensure that corrupt individuals have nowhere to hide their ill-gotten wealth by seizing assets and freezing bank accounts held both locally and abroad.

Speedy and meticulous investigations would ensure there are no loopholes for the culprits to exploit during legal proceedings against them.


Public officers who collude with tenderpreneurs should also face the music by paying for the losses that taxpayers incur due to their negligence and unethical conduct.

The push for determining cases related to corruption within two years exerts pressure on the Judiciary to ensure that suspects on trial do not buy time and further waste public resources on never-ending ligation while they remain scot-free.

The onus is now on the courts to act decisively on corruption cases and ensure that the economic crime becomes a costly affair for those found guilty to deter rampant theft of public funds.

We also applaud the proposal in the Bribery Act under the State Law (Miscellaneous Amendment) Bill 2020, which makes it a crime for State officers to operate foreign bank accounts without the EACC’s permission.

Corrupt individuals and shadowy companies have taken advantage of global tax havens to evade paying taxes as well as hide proceeds of crime. The anti-corruption watchdog should keenly monitor the suspect accounts and ensure that their owners do not access the illicit cash.

A multi-pronged and multi-sectoral approach in the war on corruption would, bear fruit based on public and government goodwill to curb all forms of economic crimes.

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