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Looters can refund proceeds at 12pc

NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 16 – Leaders who may have acquired wealth corruptly will soon have a chance to surrender it in exchange of amnesty, once relevant laws are enacted.

The Director of the Kenya Anti-Corruption Commission Patrick Lumumba told journalists that the laws, formulated jointly with the Truth Justice and Reconciliation Commission (TJRC), the Attorney General and the Justice Ministry, will be published in two weeks time.

Professor Lumumba said such persons will however have to pay 12 percent interest on the property they are willing to surrender before they can walk free.

"Kenyans who want to take advantage and make known they acquired their wealth corruptly and/or irregularly and make reparations (will be able to do so) before we say you are forgiven your sins, go out and behave decently from this day henceforth," he said.

He said the amnesty would be granted in line with the Anti Corruption and Economic Crimes Act 2003, section 25 A, under which the commission is allowed to grant amnesty.

"Although the word amnesty is not used in this section, but effectively it will be amnesty if an individual comes forth and gives a full disclosure of the wealth they acquired corruptly," he said.

Prof Lumumba said the Justice Ministry in conjunction with the Attorney General\’s office would publish rules that will guide the amnesty program.

"This will give us the legal basis upon which to invite Kenyans who want to take advantage to make known their declarations," he added at the media briefing after holding talks with officials of the TJRC who paid him a courtesy call at his Integrity Centre offices in Nairobi\’s Milimani area.

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"We are happy to say that going forward… we are going to work with the TJRC to help and cure our country in the long term," he said.

TJRC chairperson Tecla Namachanja Wanjala who led her officials to the KACC said their mandate was not limited to individual human rights violations.

"Part of our mandate is to look into economic injustices and part of these injustices is grand corruption, so as we move into hearings which we start next month, we have come to consult with KACC to see how we can do this together," she said.

Without giving details, she said the two commissions had established a working formula in line with their respective legal mandate.

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