Over Sh3b worth of assets recovered by special team hunting for graft proceeds

Delegates follow proceedings during the National Anti-Corruption Conference organised by Multi-Sectoral Initiative against Corruption at Bomas of Kenya. [Jonah Onyango/Standard]

More than Sh3 billion worth of assets have been recovered since the formation of the Multi-Agency Task Team (MATT) last year, Attorney General Paul Kihara has said.

The AG, who chairs the team that directly reports to the President, added that Sh2.5 billion worth of taxes had been recovered from corruption-related cases.

The team, that was established in June 2018, includes the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission, the AG's office, National Intelligence Service (NIS), Directorate of Criminal Investigations, Anti-Money Laundering Unit, the Asset Recovery Agency, Banking Fraud Investigation Unit, Financial Reporting Centre, Kenya Revenue Authority, Cyber-Crime Unit and Anti-Counterfeit Agency.

Corruption related

Speaking during the National Anti-Corruption Conference yesterday, Kihara said that 549 corruption-related cases had been prosecuted from 2013-2018.

“A total of 549 corruption-related cases have been prosecuted from 2013-2018 upon recommendation by DCI and EACC. These cases involve high-level and private sector leaders including Cabinet Secretaries, governors, Principal Secretaries, MPs, heads of State corporations, Judiciary and constitutional commissions and in some cases banks,” he said.

He said the team had achieved a lot on the graft war front due to better co-ordination that also allows peer review among the agencies involved.

"Through MATT, the fight against corruption is better co-ordinated and we are better resourced in our shared vision of eliminating corruption," he said.

He, however, highlighted challenges, including new forms of technology that assist crime and court orders that prevent prosecution and investigation of cases.

“Court orders that prevent arrest, investigation and prosecution of cases also present a challenge because such orders do not allow the presentation of evidence for determination,” he said.

Ethics and Anti-Corruption boss Twalib Mbarak said he had a new approach to transform the anti-graft watchdog and said after 100 days in office, people will start seeing a huge difference and would start with the unclogging of cases.

“We have over 600 cases before court, not more than 15 per cent of those cases have been determined as they are stuck,” said Mbarak.

He also said that he would take a multi-faceted approach including the recovery of assets.

“We have cases dealing with assets recovery worth over Sh20 billion right now before court, but we are going at a very slow rate,” he said.

He said a Sh1.6 billion recovered plot would be given back to the University of Nairobi.

Kihara also recommended for review of bail terms in corruption cases, especially for powerful people.

“We need to reconsider bail terms (to be) commensurate with the crimes, and secure the deterrence effect we have to achieve,” he said.