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More firms now join Blue Company Project to fight graft in the private sector

Jubilee Holdings Group CEO Julius Kipng’etich (right) present The Blue Company certification award to RSM Eastern Africa LLP, Executive Chairman Ashif Kassam and Elvis Ogeto. [Edward Kiplimo, Standard]

Standard Group PLC is the latest company to join The Blue Company Project. Other new entrants are RSM Eastern Africa, JW Seagon & Company Ltd, The Karen Hospital, Signature Healthcare Ltd and JW Seagon & Company Insurance Brokers (K) Ltd.

The Blue Company Project is an initiative founded by Mr Nizar Juma in 2018 that is focused on fighting corruption by promoting a culture of integrity in the private sector. Apart from Mr Juma, other advisory board members are Dr Julius Kipng’etich, Senior Counsel George Oraro and Mr Jacques De Navacelle.

The project, which now has 500 private companies provides its members with five benefits among them competitive advantage, network collaboration and trading, brand visibility, brand value and employee retention.

Speaking on Wednesday in Nairobi during the award of certificates to join the project, Dr Kipng’etich said the initiative seeks to help end corruption in companies and then in Kenya.

‘‘Corruption is the biggest impediment to every development in this country and countries that have fought corruption like Rwanda, Mauritius and Botswana have seen their economy grow to even double digit,’’ said Dr Kipngetich.

He added that if the private sector deals with corruption and government does its part, the dragon of corruption in the country shall be slayed.

He said if corruption is dealt with, Kenya stands to gain a lot including economic growth of between 8 to 10 per cent and investors will flock in the country.  

The project has three main principles that companies keen to join have to show commitment to.

‘‘The Chief Executive Officer of the company has to write to employees of his or her company and its subsidiaries, informing them that no worker is allowed to give or take a bribe in any form. This contravenes condition of employment and will be treated as gross misconduct and liable to summary dismissal,’’  he said.

The other commitment is that the CEO also declares that all donations, gifts and favours given or received by the company or any employee from a customer or potential customer is transparent; declared and official.

‘‘Third is that the CEO shall declare a policy of being free from favouritism based on tribe, gender, religion, colour, creed or any other form of bias,’’ said Dr Kipng’etich, who is regional CEO of Jubilee Holdings Ltd, where The Blue Company Project is hosted.

He said the project is in the process of coming up with an ethics committee that will hold the companies under it to account and ensure the principles are upheld.

Head of Corporate at Standard Group Charles Kimathi said the company is committed to uphold the three principles of the project.

As a media company, he said the company will amplify the project initiatives including its public forums through its various media platforms.