Kenya and US in anti-corruption fight partnership

Integrity Centre, the EACC headquarters in Nairobi. Kenya is one of the beneficiaries of global anti-corruption initiatives by the United States government. FILE PHOTO | NATION MEDIA GROUP

What you need to know:

  • The 2016 Corruption Perception Index released by Transparency International shows that Kenya is ranked at position 145 out of 176 countries.
  • It means Kenya has dropped six places from its previous ranking at position 139 in the 2015 index.

  • Other countries where the US has been working with include South Africa, Ethiopia, Nigeria, Ghana and Madagascar.

Kenya is one of the beneficiaries of global anti-corruption initiatives by the United States government.

Rob Leventhal, the Deputy Director in the Office of anti-crime programmes bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs said combating the vice is a top priority of the US government.

The Donald Trump administration has been supporting the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission including a body called Transnational Criminal Investigative Unit in fighting graft to the tune of about Sh100 million.

“We are also supporting Kenya fight corruption at the borders. This has been an ongoing programme,” Mr Leventhal said.

He spoke to journalists on Thursday during a telephonic press briefing on US anti-corruption efforts.

ASSETS RECOVERY

The country is also a beneficiary of the stolen assets recovery programme, where the US government has repatriated over $150 million in proceeds of corruption and has restrained $3.5 billion in assets linked to foreign corruption.

The 2016 Corruption Perception Index released by the global anti-corruption watchdog Transparency International shows that Kenya is ranked at position 145 out of 176 countries.

It means Kenya has dropped six places from its previous ranking at position 139 in the 2015 index.

The watchdog uses data from institutions including the World Bank, the African Development Bank and business school IMD to compile the perceptions of the scale of public sector corruption.

SCORE

The score runs from zero, which is highly corrupt, to 100, which is very clean.

Other countries where the US has been working with include South Africa, Ethiopia, Nigeria, Ghana and Madagascar.

According to Mr Leventhal, open government partnership is a voluntary multilateral and multi-stakeholder initiative.

“However, it is important to remember that asset recovery even when there is strong political will on both sides is complicated and can be time-consuming. The US has long recognised that the negative impact of corruption affects all aspects of society and touches the lives of all citizens,” the official said.

Earlier this week, the US and United Kingdom governments held the Global Forum on Asset Recovery in Washington DC, renewing global commitment to advancing the fight against graft.

The forum also highlighted the importance of political commitment, multijurisdictional coordination and international cooperation for asset recovery.

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