You could pay Sh5m fine for failing to report corruption

Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission chairman Eliud Wabukala and Directorate of Criminal Investigations Director George Kinoti during the launch of the National Policy on Ethics and Anti-Corruption on October 7, 2020.

Photo credit: File | Nation Media Group

What you need to know:

  • The agencies include the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission magistrate or an officer in-charge of a police station.
  • Currently, the law recommends for a fine not exceeding Sh1 million or imprisonment for a term not exceeding 10 years, or both.

Should Parliament pass a law proposed by the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) task force to fight graft, it will be an offence not to report acts of corruption or economic crimes.

According to the proposed Ethics and Integrity Amendment Bill (2020), you risk spending five years in jail or a fine of Sh5 million, or both, for concealment of corruption.

The offence involves being aware of or suspicious of the commission of an offence involving corruption and failing to report about it.

The bill seeks to introduce the offence of concealment of corruption and provides for duty to report any knowledge or suspicion of instances of corruption or economic crimes.

It says any person who aids or abets, or is accessory to any act of corruption or economic crime is guilty of an offence and is liable upon conviction to a fine not exceeding Sh5 million or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding five years, or to both.

Commit treason

The punishment will also be meted to any person who knows of an intention to commit treason and fails to give information with all reasonable dispatch to the State agencies or use other reasonable endeavours to prevent the commission of the offence.

The agencies include the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC), magistrate or an officer in-charge of a police station.

To make graft a painful engagement, the proposed law enhances penalty for economic crimes and corruption offences.

It proposes for a life imprisonment for corruption dealings such as fraudulent acquisition of public property.

Currently, the law recommends for a fine not exceeding Sh1 million or imprisonment for a term not exceeding 10 years, or both.

Mandatory fine

The bill further calls for an amendment to have the mandatory fine be equal to three times the amount of the benefit or loss.

If the conduct that constituted the offence resulted in both a benefit and loss of public property, the bill proposes for a mandatory fine that is equal to three times the sum of the amount of the benefit and the amount of the loss. Currently, the fine is two times.

The proposed law gives the Cabinet secretary power to make regulations on the protection of whistle-blowers. The regulations will prescribe the procedure for disclosing information on corrupt conduct and economic crimes.

Other regulations should be on protection of whistle-blowers’ identity, incentive programmes to encourage whistle-blowing, including monetary awards and designated persons or institutions which may receive disclosures from whistle -blowers.

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