, NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 8 – The Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) says public and State officers have until end of March to close any unapproved bank accounts they are operating outside Kenya.
Commission Chairman Mumo Matemu says this is in accordance with Section 19 of the Leadership and Integrity Act which prescribes the grounds and conditions for opening, registering, maintaining, controlling and closing bank accounts outside Kenya.
“It is notified for general information that pursuant to the provisions of section 19 (4) of the Leadership and Integrity Act, the Commission wishes to notify all state and public officers who are operating bank accounts outside Kenya, without the approval of the commission, that the last day of closure of such unapproved accounts shall be 31st March, 2015,” reads a notice in the Kenya Gazette.
According to the Act, a State officer who fails to declare operation or control of a bank account outside Kenya commits an offence and shall, upon conviction, be liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding five years, or a fine not exceeding Sh5 million, or both.
Article 76(2) of the Constitution states that a State officer shall not open or continue to operate a bank account outside Kenya without the approval of the commission.
But a State officer who has reasonable grounds for opening or operating a bank account outside Kenya shall apply to the commission for approval to open or operate a bank account.
Article 260 defines State officer or public officer to mean the President, the Deputy President, the Cabinet Secretary, member of a commission, holder of an independent office, the Attorney-General, the Director of Public Prosecutions, the Secretary to the Cabinet and the Principal Secretary.
Other in the list include the Chief of the Kenya Defence Forces, the commander of a service of the Kenya Defence Forces, the Director-General of the National Intelligence Service, the Inspector-General of Police, and the Deputy Inspectors- General of the National Police Service and any office established and designated as a State office by national legislation.
Members of Parliament passed an amendment in 2013 to remove themselves, judges, magistrates and Members of County Assembly from the list of designated State officers.
The MPs initiated the move to permanently stop the Salaries and Remuneration Commission from controlling their salaries.
The SRC holds a constitutional mandate to determine the salaries and allowances of all State officers.