EACC recovers Sh6.6 billion proceeds of graft

EACC Chief Executive Officer Twalib Mbarak. [David Njaaga, Standard]

The Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) traced and recovered Sh6.63 billion proceeds of corruption between the 2022 and 2023 financial year.

According to a report released on Tuesday, the commission also recovered illegally acquired assets worth Sh3.8 billion during the same period. 

EACC Chief Executive Officer Twalib Mbarak said that a further 61 investigation files on corruption were finalised and recommendations made to relevant authorities for prosecution. 

The report has also shown that the agency recovered illegally acquired assets worth Sh3.8 billion from the 512 cases investigated during the reporting period. 

"The commission also conducted proactive investigations which averted possible public funds estimated at Sh4.7 billion," said Mbarak during the launch of the report at the EACC headquarters in Nairobi.

He noted that 214 cases of economic crimes, corruption and unethical conduct are pending before court. 

Mbarak revealed that 97 files of corruption cases investigated during the same period are before the Director of Public Prosecution for review. 

The report also indicated a growth in conviction rate in the country on corruption cases and unethical conduct within the last five years.  

"The value of corruptly acquired assets recovered by the commission increased from Sh3.5 billion in 2018 to Sh28 billion in 2023, and the value of loss of public funds averted through proactive investigations rose from Sh19.7 billion to Sh39.2 billion," said EACC chairperson David Oginde.

Taita Taveta, Kwale topped the list of counties under investigation over corruption cases with Sh4 and Sh2 billion respectively reported to have been misappropriated. 

Other counties that featured in the anti-corruption watch include Uasin Gishu, Mandera, Tukana, Muranga, Siaya, Nyamira, Kiambu, Homabay and Wajir.

From the report, it also emerged that most Kenyans engage in bribery at 31 per cent while 19 per cent of the graft deals involved embezzlement of public resources.

Fraudulent acquisition and disposal of public property was ranked as the third most form of graft in the country with 12 per cent followed by unethical conduct at 10 per cent. 

Abuse of office closed the top five forms of corruption mainly exploited by Kenyans at 9 per cent, the report showed. 

Further, EACC is proposing an amendment of anti-graft legislation to directly utilise financial resources and assets recovered from corrupt practices to expedite its mandate. 

"The budget deficit can be met by the money that we might recover from the corruption proceeds and illegally acquired assets," Oginde said. 

“If we give our budget say Sh4 or Sh5 billion we are allocated Sh3 billion from the National Assembly that means that there is a deficit that can be met by the monies that we might recover out of the cases that we are pursuing," he added.

EACC report shows that Kenya Electricity Transmission Company (Ketraco) tops in the list of corrupt state agencies. 

Mbarak said fraudulent handling of public resources has largely contributed to the floods that have wreaked havoc across the country.

"The issues of corruption can be felt across the country involving offices charged with the responsibility of handling calamities," he said.  

The EACC boss noted that the destruction of infrastructure like roads by floods can be prevented by holding public officers accountable. 

The floods have left more than 280 people dead, thousands of others displaced, roads, bridges and houses destroyed.  

Oginde called for collaboration among entities charged with fighting corruption to ensure the expedition of the cases and save the country from the menace. 

EACC said that the graft reports it received are far beyond a single entity within a stipulated time and with inadequate resources.