Uhuru signs deal with Switzerland, Jersey, U.K. for return of stolen wealth

Uhuru signs deal with Switzerland, Jersey, U.K. for return of stolen wealth

President Uhuru Kenyatta has signed a new deal that will see three foreign countries assist Kenya to recover billions of shillings hidden in their territories.

The deal between Kenya, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and Jersey aims at expanding the anti-graft net beyond the prosecution of culprits believed to have stashed hundreds of billions of shillings abroad since independence.

Switzerland has for the longest time been perceived to be one of the most prestigious tax havens on the globe, with many turning to its financial centre to amass billions anonymously.

What this essentially means, is that billions of shillings acquired through corruption and stashed abroad is to be recovered with the help of the foreign governments.

“We look forward to returning hard earned Kenyan wealth where it can be put to work,”said President Kenyatta at State House during the signing of the pact.

The first and likely target, will be proceeds from the Anglo-Leasing scandal.

Already, the Swiss government has frozen up to Ksh.200million held in Swiss accounts as part of the cases in the Anglo-Leasing scam.

The recovered assets will be redirected to development projects key among them healthcare.

Last year, funds recovered from the Chickengate scandal were used to purchase seven ambulances.

Estimates from 2007 indicated there was up to Ksh.124billion looted from Kenya in previous administrations.

“Asset recovery deters corruption and send the unequivocal message that corruption does not pay,” President Kenyatta said.

“Switzerland has successfully returned a number of assets in the past best case being Nigeria and we need partners like Kenya in order to do this,”said Alain Berset, Switzerland President.

Dubbed the framework for the return of assets from corruption and crime in Kenya, the pact will have a steering committee comprising of the executive office of the president, the Attorney General, the National Treasury, the Assets Recovery Agency, Ethics and Anti-Corruption Agency and envoys or representatives representing the partner countries.

The team will be tasked with identifying potential assets to be recovered; identifying potential implementing organisations; decide unanimously on priorities for the use of returned funds; monitor progress in returning assets and receive reports on the progress of projects funded through recovered assets.

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