UK to freeze assets of Kenya’s graft lords

August 31, 2010 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 31- The UK government said on Tuesday that it would start tracking down and repossessing illegally acquired assets that are kept in the United Kingdom.

Mr Macaire who was speaking after a meeting with the Kenya Anti Corruption Commission (KACC) Director Patrick Lumumba argued that the measure would go a long way towards mitigating corruption in Kenya.

He also maintained that Britain was still keen on seeing those behind the Free Primary School Education scandal brought to book.

“That’s an area in which we’ve had success in other countries but sadly not yet in Kenya. It is an area where we have managed to do quite a lot in recent years and have put in a lot of resources but we want to see that move forward with regards to Kenya so that we can really act on asset seizure,” he said.

He further said that Britain would also continue denying visas to Kenyans who had been convicted or suspected of unlawful acts.

“We will continue giving the people of this country our support in fighting corruption and that includes excluding from the UK people associated with high level corruption,” he said.

Dr Lumumba said that the KACC had already engaged the office of serious frauds in the UK which had agreed to assist Kenya in fighting graft.

“And corruption involves taking monies that have been wrongly acquired and keeping them in foreign accounts. One of the countries of choice is the UK which has also promised to work with us and they are already working with us to deal with some of the ongoing cases,” he said.

He further noted that the new constitution would assist in fighting corruption as it put in places appropriate checks and balances.

“This organisation (KACC) can only become stronger and other support organizations such as the Judiciary, the Office of the Attorney General and that of the Director of Public Prosecutions will also be useful as we move forward,” he said.

He also announced that the anti graft body was finalizing its findings on the education sector scandal and would soon make an announcement to that effect.

“Investigations are going on and they are at a very advanced stage. But we still don’t want to engage in drama where you take people to court because there is political pressure. I think there is wisdom in ensuring that you have credible evidence and that is a case that is receiving the highest priority,” he said.

Although he declined to give a time line within which the findings would be announced, Dr Lumumba said the matter was being handled with urgency.

 “It is always dangerous to bind oneself with specific time frames. It is unwise to do so but we will deal with it with speed,” he said.


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