It’s time third parties of corruption felt the heat
Well-known lords of graft have been resting on their laurels and flaunting their ill-gotten wealth to family, neighbourhoods and peers.
EDITORIAL: It’s time third parties of corruption felt the heat
Parliament should fully support the change in law coming from Leader of Majority Aden Duale. FILE PHOTO | NMG
In the recent past, corruption has continued to be such a huge drawback on Kenya and Africa’s advancement to the extent that it now looks insurmountable. Well, it can be argued that perpetrators of the vice want it to remain that way. Reports that the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) has prosecuted over 7,000 suspects have been diluted by the fact that convictions are rare and far between. Besides, the courts have only found it befitting to jail little-known perpetrators such as traffic policemen and an occasionally mid-level functionaries. Well-known lords of graft have been resting on their laurels and flaunting their ill-gotten wealth to family, neighbourhoods and peers.
Often, the public is aware of the source of wealth — a fact that triggers copycat acts and negative aspirations. Part of the reason corrupt people are known to all and sundry but supposedly not to the integrity watchdogs is the way they cover their tracks.While there is a huge human factor in ignoring the graft trail, legally at times it is relatively hard to crack some cases. A large part of the problem are lawyers, who use all manner of tricks in the book to prevent the lords of graft from going to jail.There are also real-estate brokers who handle the bulk of the transactions, at most times well aware of the source of the cash. It is in this light that we welcome recommendations contained in the Statute Law (Miscellaneous Amendments) Bill 2018. It proposes to change the Bribery Act to provide for a Sh5 million or 10-year jail term fine for those transacting in properties where corruption is apparent. This will hit brokers, surveyors and lawyers hardest and probably sanitise the property industry.For a long time, it has been suspected to be a conduit of money laundering—both from inside and outside the country. In fact, the distortionary effect especially during the height of sea piracy was so obvious despite official silence. While laws have never fully thwarted corruption, hopefully this one will make some dent. Parliament should fully support the change in law coming from Leader of Majority Aden Duale.