Friday July 17, 2020 – The Government of President Uhuru Kenyatta has withdrawn its proposed radical anti-corruption laws from Parliament, exposing turf wars rocking agencies fighting corruption.
The bill was a major boost in the war against corruption and if enacted would have made it mandatory for all State officers, including the Deputy President, to step aside if charged.
However, it has emerged that inter-agency squabbling triggered the withdrawal following spirited protests by the Asset Recovery Agency.
ARA had argued that the proposed amendments will allow other anti-graft agencies to encroach on its mandate.
Speaking on Wednesday, National Assembly Speaker, Justin Muturi, announced that he had accepted a request by Leader of Majority, Amos Kimunya, to drop the amendments.
Muturi stated that it was necessary to isolate the contentious statutes “to allow further inter-agency consultations”
The inter-agency fight could further hurt President Uhuru Kenyatta’s war against corruption.
The Directorate of Criminal Investigations boss, George Kinoti, and the Directorate of Public Prosecutions head, Noordin Haji, are separately embroiled in turf wars over anti-graft investigations.
The Bill sought, among other measures, to amend the Proceeds of Crime and Anti-Money Laundering Act (POCAMLA) to include EACC officers among those authorised to seize assets.
The legislative proposals would also require that the DPP and the EACC Chief Executive Officer be part of the Anti-Money Laundering Advisory Board.
But according to the ARA, the provision would have seen the EACC take up its key mandate in the fight against corruption.
The EACC, in the now expunged proposal, was to get powers to institute asset recovery proceedings and also monitor bank accounts operated by State officers held outside Kenya.
The ARA maintains that the EACC should focus on investigating bribery and corruption and leave asset tracing and recovery to them.
The Kenyan DAILY POST