NAIROBI, Kenya, Dec 19 – The government is lobbying the United Nations Convention Against Corruption to facilitate a mechanism for the repatriation of ill-gotten wealth stashed abroad, but whose repatriation has been greatly hampered by lack of policies that support this remedy in the fight against graft.
Speaking during the Eighth Forum of Parliamentarians Against Corruption under the auspices of the Global Organisation of Parliamentarians Against Corruption (GOPAC) on Thursday, National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi noted that for the war against graft to be won, state members must be willing to collaborate through mutual agreements noting that this would deal the vice a death blow.
Muturi spoke as he made a presentation on behalf on the Kenyan delegation attending the conference hosted by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, underscored the place of effective collaboration between countries to return monies stolen by corrupt government officials, but who had been allowed to enjoy it in other countries for lack of mechanisms to have it returned to its rightful owners; the citizens from whom it was robbed.
The Speaker who is attending the conference in his capacity as the Vice President of the Global Organisation of Parliamentarians Against Corruption further observed that the recent asset recovery efforts by the government agencies fighting graft in Kenya had boosted the war, adding that the robust legal policing on the vice while placing war on graft on top of her legacy, Kenya was slowly generating dividends.
“Seizing of assets of people who cannot account for them is making corruption very expensive in Kenya. We need multilateral agreements between member states to ensure no one gets away with looted resources,” he noted.
While highlighting the milestones that Parliament has made towards enhancing the anti-corruption crusade, Speaker Muturi noted that alongside the recently enacted laws to facilitate the war against graft, just before proceeding on long recess last week, the National Assembly ratified the Multilateral Convention on Mutual Administrative Assistance in Tax Matters to promote the exchange of information between State Parties on tax matters (without putting into prejudice the integrity of taxpayers).
This, he submitted, is in support of efforts by countries to curb tax cheats and tax evadors from fleecing their economies.
The Speaker hailed the ruling by High Court Judge Mumbi Ngugi which stipulates that Public Officers charged with corruption stay away from office till their cases are determined had boosted anti-corruption efforts by the government.
The forum also identified public participation as a key ingredient to winning the war on corruption and urged for its adoption by member states to the Convention.
The 4-day biennial conference ends on Friday when Member States are expected to among others adopt innovative and practical methodologies to raise public awareness in integrity as well as develop ideas to combat graft across the globe.