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Kenya forms team to draw up plan for to fight corruption

13 November 2015, 21:37

Nairobi - Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta acknowledged on Friday corruption was a major problem facing the country and said a joint government and private sector team would draw up strategies to combat the vice in one week.

Companies and investors cite pervasive graft as one of the biggest challenges to doing business in Kenya and U.S. President Barack Obama raised the issue when he visited in July. Citizens also complain it is an obstacle to law enforcement and provision of public services.

"We agreed we are going to work and come up with a framework of dealing with real corruption as well as perceived corruption," Kenyatta said after a meeting with business executives.

"In a week's time, the team that we put together, comprising both members of government as well as the private sector, would come up and give us a plan on how we shall work together to overcome that challenge," he said.

Kenyatta said one potential action against graft was to bar firms which do not sign up to a private sector-led code of conduct from participating in government tenders.

Also read: Kuria loses bid to have Safaricom release call data

The country's Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission says 70 percent of all corruption in the country relates to procurement, especially in government ministries and departments, where greedy officials and unscrupulous businessmen collude to rip off the public.

"Corruption is happening around the entire system, both the private sector and the public sector, and we have got to have concerted effort of how to resolve this," Adan Mohamed, the minister for enterprise and industrialisation, told Reuters.

On Thursday, the United States, Britain and nine other countries pledged to help Kenya to try to beat corruption, promising to step up efforts to prevent funds leaving the country and pushing for those involved in graft to be prosecuted.

Deputy President William Ruto said he and the president would lead the fight against corruption and they expected all individuals and institutions to follow suit.

"Every public official, every institution must be accountable," Ruto said.

"We are not going to talk. We are not going to have a discussion. We are not going to have a debate because it will not take us anywhere."

- Reuters


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