The energy being put towards ending corruption must also be directed to the recovery of assets, Opposition chief Raila Odinga has said.
“As the crackdown continues, we need to see similar energy and speed directed at the recovery of assets that were acquired from the proceeds of corruption and impunity,” Raila said.
The Government has mounted a crackdown on corruption and the culture of impunity as it demolishes utilities built on riparian land in Nairobi.
President Uhuru Kenyatta said government officials who approved construction of buildings on riparian land be arrested and prosecuted.
More on this: Prosecute officials who authorised buildings on riparian land – Uhuru
In a statement on Sunday, Raila said it is fair to expect that the business premises that were set up on public land generated some private gain for the illegitimate owners.
“…in the same way stolen public funds generated income in the form of bank interests and property for the suspects,” he said.
Raila said the Asset Recovery Agency must move with speed and ensure that the suspects, both those out on bail and the ones facing arrest, do not hide their ‘ill-gotten’ wealth.
“Kenyans need these monies seized and returned to finance the gaps being experienced in the development plans,” he said.
“Ordinary Kenyans must not continue bearing this burden while the corrupt keep their loot.”
Noting that the agency must be seen and felt in the anti-corruption crusade, Raila said depriving corrupt actors of their wealth will support development and economic growth.
“It will restore confidence in the current crackdown. Corruption must be made a painful crime,” he said.
“The agency must move out of boardrooms and be seen to be acting publicly in unison with the DPP, EACC, and DCI.”
Raila said the agency should also work with the public as they are the best source of information.
“Many people want to contribute to this war and are looking for a way in which they can assist the anti-corruption agencies to remove this scourge from our society,” he said.
“It is the people who know better who is living beyond their means. The agency needs to urgently set up a platform through which the public can share this information.”
Earlier, Uhuru said he has lost lots of friends in the last few weeks as the fight against impunity intensifies.
Speaking during a church service, Uhuru said he has been receiving many calls from friends who claim he is seated yet demolitions were taking place.
Read: Impunity must end! I’ve lost many friends over demolitions -Uhuru
Raila, who is also the ODM Party leader, said all branches of the government must pull in the same direction if the corruption networks are to be overcome.
“The public feels cheated by Parliament, which has become the weakest link in this war, with reports of money changing hands for adoption or rejection of reports,” he said.
His words comes a day after bribery claims rocked Parliament last week as MPs ganged up to trash a committee report on sugar that had implicated Cabinet secretaries Henry Rotich [Treasury] and Adan Mohamed [EAC].
Debate was punctuated by protests and claims of bribery from across the divide as MPs closed ranks to jettison recommendations against Rotich, Adan and former Agriculture CS Willy Bett.
In the most ignoble scene yet, lawmakers were seen openly scrambling for Sh30,000 allegedly dished out to shoot down the report.
More on this: Naked bribery in the House as MPs reject sugar report
“This is a major shame to the nation and deserves urgent and thorough investigation by a multi-agency team from the EACC, DPP and DCI,” Raila said.
“The MoU mandates the public to report corruption whenever they witness it. Kenyans must take up this role and also pressure their elected representatives to fight corruption or resign.”
Raila added that international partners should open up their institutions and help trace Kenya’s assets and monies hidden in their countries.
Three months ago, the DPP appealed for the collaboration of the Federal Bureau of Investigations in the fight against corruption.
“We are anxiously waiting for that support, preferably in more practical ways than routine capacity building and training,” Raila added.
Read: Switzerland to return stolen assets to Kenya in corruption war
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