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Kenya's president says poor coordination slowing graft fight

20 November 2015, 21:31

Nairobi - Kenya's President Uhuru Kenyatta said on Friday that lack of coordination among government agencies fighting corruption was slowing the fight against graft.

Corruption in Kenya is seen as a major obstacle to business and law enforcement, deterring investment and hindering efforts to crack down on those behind a spate of Islamist militant attacks. It is also cited as a reason for lack of or poor provision of public services.

Last week, the United States, Britain and nine other countries pledged to help Kenya beat corruption, promising to step up efforts to prevent funds leaving the country and pushing for those who commit graft to be prosecuted.

A court in Nairobi this week charged several senior government officials, including a principal secretary and the heads of two state-run companies with abuse of office over procurement of goods and services.

The head of the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) told Reuters the judiciary needed to work harder to deliver convictions to boost the fight against corruption.

Also read: Jittery IEBC ponders Wetangula decision

"It is possible to have successful prosecutions but the problem is clearly a lack of focus and coordination between the agencies involved in the anti-corruption war," Kenyatta said in a statement sent by his office.

Apart from the EACC, other agencies involved in the fight against graft include the police and the office of the director of public prosecutions.

Kenyatta asked officials to make sure an asset recovery department in the state law office starts operating to facilitate to recovery of stolen assets, the statement said.

The statement added that this week alone, 72 people had been charged for graft-related offences, bring the total to 352 high profile individuals arraigned in the past six months.

Kenya ranked 145 out of 175 countries assessed by Transparency International in its corruption perceptions index in 2014, with number 1 being the least corrupt.

Kenyatta's government has been under pressure on the issue of corruption, which he made a priority on taking office in 2013.

Observers say graft has increased with the advent of newly-created government units, known as counties.

Kenyatta but critics say he has failed to be effective.

- Reuters


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