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Sh2 billion war chest from corruption proceeds unleashed in fight against Covid-19

The Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) and the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) on Tuesday presented a donation of Sh2 billion to the National Treasury as part of efforts to beef up the Covid-19 emergency fund.

The move follows President Uhuru Kenyatta’s decree on the use of corruption proceeds to be used during the pandemic that is ravaging the globe.

“Our war on corruption continues to bear fruit. In the last year, our state agencies charged with this national endeavour were able to make significant recoveries of ill-gotten wealth,” said the President.

In line with the state’s efforts to address the needs of vulnerable Kenyans, the President decreed that Sh2 billion of these funds would be channelled to assisting Kenyans in attaining a better standard of living.

DPP Noordin Haji and EACC boss Twalib Mbarak, while issuing the dummy cheque to Treasury Cabinet Secretary Ukur Yatani, said the funds were part of recovered proceeds of crime such as corruption and money laundering.

Haji said the prosecution fund established last year had so far netted Sh2.9 billion, from which the Sh2 billion presented to Treasury had been retrieved to aid in the fight against the novel coronavirus.

“We have various institutions dealing with corruption. A lot more money is out there but because cases are not complete, we can’t use it. We have to wait for the cases to be heard and determined,” said Haji.

On his part, Mr Mbarak said the money was a product of plea bargaining.

WAR ON CORRUPTION

“There are some cases ongoing, we can’t use the money because of pending appeals. But we are confident we will recover this money.”

He added the war on corruption is still ongoing, further expressing confidence that it will bear fruits and more public resources illegally held in terms of land and property will be recovered and reverted to the government.

In a bid to free up more funds to cushion Kenyans during the pandemic, the president further decreed that money earmarked for travel by state officials be redirected to Covid-19 efforts.

“I direct the national treasury to appropriate all domestic, and international travel budget for all state agencies and to allocate these resources to combating Covid-19,” said the head of state.

The government Monday approved the use of over Sh40 billion to cushion needy households in urban areas from economic shocks following reduced activity in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

The cash will be from funds raised from austerity measures effected at both national and county government levels, including cutting of international and domestic travel, and some Sh2 billion recovered proceeds of corruption.