President Barack Obama to help fight graft
Obama acknowledged Uhuru’s stated commitment to strengthening a national campaign on good governance and anti-corruption and his call to action in his State of the Nation Address on March 26.
According to the agreement between the two countries, the US welcomed this move and Washington and Nairobi committed to work together on anti-corruption.
The US also committed to help the interagency taskforce reviewing the anti-corruption laws to come up with better legislation to fight graft.
“The two Governments reaffirm their shared objectives to improve governance by increasing transparency and accountability in Government, and commit to work together to combat corruption in Kenya,” the agreement reads.
Following the March 26 address, Uhuru promptly suspended five of his Cabinet Secretaries and two of them are arraigned in court.
Scores of other public officials at the national and county levels have also been prosecuted based on the dossier tabled in Parliament by the president.
Corruption was a major topic for Obama when he made his public remarks on Saturday and Sunday, saying it was slowing down development.
The agreement signed on Saturday also indicates that Kenya committed to continue with the momentum to combat corruption and advance good governance.
Kenya also committed to launch new national civic awareness and education programmes for schools across the country by incorporating civic education and ethics in schools’ curricula.
“The Government of Kenya commits to introduce compulsory ethics training for all public officials across all levels of government, and the National Anti-Corruption Steering Committee is to commence execution of this programme within three months,” the agreement states.
To support Kenya’s new compulsory ethics training programme, the US promised the Jubilee administration the development of the ethics training curriculum, including through a series of consultations and mentorship opportunities.
Kenya also committed to, within six months, domesticate the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative, a global standard to promote open and accountable management of natural resources
“The Government of Kenya commits to complete the digitization of lands, births, and death records by July 2016,” the agreement reads.
The Obama administration committed to, by the end of this year, undertake a scoping mission to evaluate the potential to provide assistance in Kenya to support the implementation of e-Government systems.
Kenya also committed to conduct thorough investigations into corruption cases and, where investigations adduce sufficient evidence, to professionally prosecute.
“By late 2015, the US Government also plans to provide technical assistance to the Independent Policing Oversight Authority, the National Police Service Commission, and the National Police Service’s Internal Affairs Unit to help them enhance police accountability,” the document states.
The two governments also agreed the Kenyan Attorney General’s Office and the US Department of Justice, Office of International Affairs, meet to discuss best practices and to improve bilateral cooperation in criminal cases, with a focus on mutual legal assistance and extradition.
“The Government of Kenya pledges to review and expand its mutual legal assistance framework and partnership with key strategic countries. This work would especially target enabling asset seizures and recovery, detection and investigations, and arrests and prosecutions,” the agreement states.
The US also committed to support Kenya’s efforts to join the Egmont Group and to work with Kenya in meeting the requirements for membership.
The Egmont Group is a network of financial intelligence units that regularly meets to promote the development of FIUs and to cooperate, especially in the areas of information exchange, training and the sharing of expertise on money laundering and terrorism financing cases.