Archive 2003


December 2003

Looted billions to be repatriated — Githae

By Lilian Juma

   CONSTITUTIONAL 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 Education.
  • Meanwhile, Justice and Constitutional Minister Kiraitu Murungi said that all public servants would undergo training on good governance and ethics.

In a 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.

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