Somali dollars bad for Kenya, says Saitoti

December 1, 2009 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Dec 1 – The government has said it is increasingly concerned at the huge sums of money being channeled from lawless Somalia which is now destabilising Kenya’s economy.

Internal Security Minister Professor George Saitoti said instability in Somalia had led to colossal sums of (pirate) money coming into the Kenya illegally.

“And of course when they come here, it may appear initially that it is good for the economy but sooner or later that kind of money ends up distorting the monetary system and the economy as a whole,” the Minister said at a forum for international development partners on the funds required to implement police reforms.

The forum was attended by US ambassador Michael Ranneberger, the Finnish envoy and representatives from various countries including the UK.

Prof Saitoti said the country was faced with various other challenges related to cross-border crimes “and most of those ones are conducted through the internet and we have to deal with them.”

He said the government was awaiting the approval of two “very important Bills which would assist the security agencies deal with those crimes once they are passed by legislators.”

“One of them is already in Parliament for debate and which is going to help us a lot. It is the Anti-money Laundering Bill and this is extremely important,” he said.

Prof Saitoti said the government was currently implementing a series of police reforms as recommended by the task force on police reforms which will cost the government Sh81.5 billion.

The reforms are to be implemented in a period of four years beginning October 2009 when phase one of the changes were made beginning with the removal of then police commissioner Maj Gen (rtd) Hussein Ali who was replaced by Mathew Iteere who was moved from the General Service Unit (GSU).

Prof Saitoti told donors that the government had undertaken to meet nearly 50 percent of the total amount required and pleaded with donors for their support.

The US, Finland and the UK have indicated they will back the reforms.


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