Kenya-UK sign deal to repatriate assets, proceeds of crime

NAIROBI, KENYA: President Uhuru Kenyatta has signed a deal with the United Kingdom to boost fight against corruption in the country.

At a joint press briefing in Nairobi on Thursday, the two leaders disclosed a pact that will see repatriation of assets and proceeds of crime to Kenya.

President Uhuru noted that fighting corruption was important for the country just as the Big Four Agenda and he would make it more painful and unrewarding for individuals to engage in the crime.

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“We have agreed with Prime Minister Theresa May on modalities of bringing back to the country proceeds of crime and stolen assets. This will boost the war on corruption that has denied Kenyans important services that they deserve,” he said.

Prime Minister May also confirmed the agreement during the afternoon press briefing.

Early July, President Uhuru signed a similar deal with Switzerland to facilitate the return of stolen cash in a development targeting an estimated Sh72 billion stashed in Swiss accounts.

Although the communique by the two leaders did not mention a specific figure, past reports have placed the amounts stashed by Kenyans in Swiss accounts at between Sh51 billion and Sh72 billion.

Theresa May is on her first visit to Africa as a Prime Minister. Her tour included South Africa and Nigeria.

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She is accompanied by 29 representatives who will meet with leading businesses, policy makers and entrepreneurs in order to build new investment, trading and export ties between the UK and these emerging markets.

President Uhuru said Nairobi and London agreed to work together on matters trade, security, and access to United Kingdom after the Brexit and the increase of broader exports for Kenya companies.

The President welcomed United Kingdom’s commitment to support AMISOM after PM May disclosed that she wlould be announcing a new package of funding for the AMISOM.

“I encourage British investors to align their investments to the government's Big Four projects some of whichare in the blue economy- deep sea fishing in various parts of our country,” he said.

PM May  was happy with the political reconciliation in the country and promised to support the Uhuru-Raila Building Bridges Initiative.

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A British government website says May's visit is aimed at bringing the transformative power of private sector trade and investment from the UK to a continent that is home to 16 percent of the world’s people but just 3 percent of Foreign Direct Investment and 3 percent of global goods trade.

Kenya mainly exports coffee, tea and other agricultural products. An impressive 27 percent of the fresh produce consumed in the UK comes from Kenya which also commands 56 percent of the black tea market there. On the other hand, UK exports to Kenya are mainly printed material, machinery and chemicals.

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Theresa MayUhuru KenyattaCorruptionRepatriation