, NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 15- The Government will seek to improve governance and enhance the war on graft, as it rolls out the ambitious Big Four agenda.
Special Advisor on Governance and Anti-Corruption in the Office of the President Peter Kariuki says the Government intends to deepen partnership across the borders to ensure graft doesn’t hamper the multi-billion shillings initiative.
“The anchor for achieving the Big Four agenda is really about improving our governance- processes, systems, and delivery- because that is really the basis of achieving the outcome that is the Big Four agenda,” Kariuki said in an interview with Capital News.
“In a country where we are known of the Big Five, this will be really the fifth thing of what is the Big Four agenda in terms of improving governance and fighting corruption in Kenya.”
But what is the Government doing to ensure the projects are not infiltrated?
“We are enhancing our administrative policy and legal measures. This is important, because we consistently learn, through policy, through law…areas that we need to be tightened,” he said.
Such areas include, “criminal networks, corrupt people and those who seek not obey the law and also in administrative measures. For example in areas of revenue collection. We have seen the Government progressively moving towards automating the service delivery models, automating its revenue collection model…and all this are really essentially strengthening how we work as a Government but also reducing opportunities for corruption.”
Through the Big Four agenda, which focuses on manufacturing, universal healthcare, affordable housing and food security, President Uhuru Kenyatta has since said it is aimed at boosting Kenya’s development, create wealth and employment for the youth.
The government intends to expand manufacturing and increase its contribution to GDP from 9 per cent to 15 per cent; achieve universal health coverage, facilitate the construction of half a million low-cost houses and ensure food security.
Kariuki was speaking during the launch of a guideline for requests for mutual legal assistance in Criminal matters for authorities outside the country on Thursday.
The guideline is set to enhance Kenya’s capacity while recovering embezzled assets and finances from inside and outside of the country.
It means criminals seeking Kenya as a safe haven for offences committed in other jurisdiction will be arrested and prosecuted according to the outgoing Attorney General Githu Muigai.
He says the guidelines will greatly assist authorities in investigations, prosecutions, judicial proceedings, consultations and service of overseas processes and instances where the Government wants to freeze and confiscate property acquired from proceeds of crime.
He explained that the guidelines will ensure those who commit offences in Kenya and run to other countries are repatriated back to the country to face charges while those hiding in Kenya for offences committed elsewhere will be extradited.
“This is a positive step in strengthening of the existing cooperation which Kenya has with its diverse partners. My office as the Central Authority of MLA continues to facilitate the development and enactment of legislation in line with international conventions and obligations as a sign of the Government’s commitment to attain a Corruption Free Status by the year 2030,” the Ag said.
Speaking during the event, British High Commissioner to Kenya Nic Hailey said for the war on graft to be won, independent institutions more so those within the criminal justice system must be respected.
He said there must be a cross partnership among law enforcement agencies for the menace to be contained.
This, he says should be extended to a collaboration with other stakeholders both at the regional and international level, in a bid to dismantle the usually sophisticated corruption networks.