Looted billions to be
repatriated — Githae
By Lilian Juma
and Justice Assistant Minister Robinson Githae yesterday said the
Government would repatriate close to $4 billion (Sh300 billion)
allegedly looted by individuals in the previous government and
stashed in overseas bank accounts.
The Assistant Minister rubbished fears that the
money could be transferred to other countries, particularly those
that have not ratified the United Nations Convention Against
Corruption, saying even if that were to happen, the alleged
looters could not lay their hands on their money.
Githae said that it was no longer possible for
any government to accept funds looted from outside as no nation
was willing to condone corruption.
“History is now on our side. African
dictators are now learning that even if they stash away looted
money, they may not use it and are better off investing it in
their own country,” he said: He said even banks in Switzerland
were now freezing illegally obtained money.
He said the looted amount, both in cash and
assets, had been traced by a team of forensic auditors and
specialised advocates appointed by the Government.
The Assistant Minister said some of the money
was looted through the Goldenberg scandal, through land grabbing
and megascams in parastatals and the central government.
Githae revealed that some of the looters who
are less than 100 own huge ranches and blocks of apartments in
foreign countries, all of which would be confiscated.
He declined to give names of those involved,
saying the looters used offshore companies and that some of the
funds were kept in trust through advocates.
The Minister said the passing of the
Anti-Corruption and Economics Crimes Act 2003 allows the
government to move to court to prosecute those who cannot explain
how they obtained their assets.
Githae said the First Phase of the Goldenberg
Commission was mainly to establish that no diamond or gold was
exported from the country.
“It was merely ‘hot air’ since the
country has no single stone of diamond and the little gold said to
be exported was smuggled from Zaire, Congo and Rwanda and was not
eligible for compensation,” he added. The Assistant Minister
said the next phase would be for lawyers, accountants and
stockbrokers to explain the purposes of the huge transactions and
that companies mentioned would also be asked to freeze their
assets so that they are not transferred.
He made the remarks after presiding over the
graduation of 71 public officers who were awarded certificates
after completion of a one month course on governance, ethics,
anti-corruption and economic crimes at the Kenya Institute of
Justice and Constitutional Minister Kiraitu Murungi said that
all public servants would undergo training on good governance
speech read on his behalf by his Assistant, Mr Githae, the
Minister said the training in which a total of 95 officers have
benefitted signifies the Narc government’s resolve and internal
capacity building to effectively deal with systematic corruption
with various departments, parastatals and local authorities.
He said the course provides an opportunity for
internal capacity building which focuses on ensuring strong
financial and management control systems that safeguard public
assets and revenues. Murungi said interviews for the appointment
of director and assistant directors of the Kenya Anti-Corruption
Commission have been completed and a decision would soon be made.
Link : http://www.kentimes.com/18dec03/nwsstory/news2.html