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Taskforce wants those who sue corrupt officers to get a share of recovered loot

By Augustine Oduor | November 22nd 2015

NAIROBI: You will soon be rewarded if you successfully initiate a probe against suspects that will lead to recovery of money stolen through corruption.

A government task force on the fight against corruption has recommended that citizens who initiate action against suspects be entitled to part of the recovered money.

“If the initiator of the action wins the case, he will be entitled to some percentage of the recovered amount, while the larger chunk goes to the State,” reads the report given to President Uhuru Kenyatta Friday.

The team, however, wants a law put in place to criminalise laying of false claims of corruption against the government or public bodies. The team tasked to review legal, policy and institutional framework for fighting corruption said such a strategy has helped the US reduce corruption, through the False Claims Act.

The task force also recommends a transparent mechanism for amnesty and restitution managed under the support of the Ethics and Anti Corruption Commission, (EACC), Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) and the Attorney General (AG).

“Such a mechanism would expedite recovery of assets where the suspect is ready and willing to surrender illegally acquired public assets or provide information that may lead to recovery without having to go through the judicial process,” said the report.

The team says this mechanism will work within the context of the provisions of Anti-Corruption and Economic Crimes (Amnesty and Restitution) Regulations, 2011.

The establishment of the task force was done pursuant to a directive issued by President Kenyatta during his State of the Nation Address to Parliament on March 26.

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The President directed AG Githu Muigai to facilitate a comprehensive review of the legal, policy and institutional framework for fighting corruption.

The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) will now vet all politicians and other persons seeking elective offices as EACC vet persons seeking appointment to State offices.

This is contrary to the current practice where IEBC relies on clearance certificates on integrity questions from EACC.

The Prof Muigai report further recommends enactment of laws providing for criminalisation of illicit enrichment; lifestyle audits of public officials; criminalisation of corruption in the private sector and imposing a reporting obligation to EACC, of any person who witnesses an act of corruption. The report also wants the failure by private enterprises to prevent bribery to be criminalised.

The task force wants EACC to be designated as the central depository of all the financial declarations of State officers.

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