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Tough law slaps 10-year jail term on bribe givers

Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission chairman Archbishop Eliud Wabukala with Kenya Association of Manufacturers CEO Phyllis Wakiaga in Nairobi. [Photo David Gichuru]

Anti-corruption chairman Eliud Wabukala has welcomed a new law that seeks to punish bribery offenders.

Retired Arch-Bishop Wabukala said the Bribery Act 2016 addresses the gap in law by providing two general offences, unlike before when it only focused on public officers.   

“This rendered it ineffective as bribery is a two-way traffic affair where there is a giver and a taker,” Wabukala said during a seminar on the Bribery Act, 2016, which was attended by Kenya Association of Manufacturers.

In the new law, an individual found guilty of bribery – contributor or recipient – shall be liable on conviction to a term not exceeding 10 years or a fine not exceeding Sh5 million or both.

They may also be liable for an additional mandatory fine if, as a result of the conduct constituting the offence, the person received a quantifiable or any other person suffered a quantifiable loss.

The Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission boss noted that the act places a bigger responsibility on business entities or private sector to put in place procedures for prevention of the crime.

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Kenya Association of Manufacturers chairperson Flora Mutahi said corruption threatens sustainable economic development, ethical values and justice.

Meanwhile, a report featuring both voters and aspirants seeking various posts will be launched officially today in Nairobi.

Splash money

A sneak preview of the survey undertaken in 10 counties shows that a majority of Kenyans see nothing wrong in electing unsuitable candidates who splash money and make unrealistic promises during election campaigns.

The findings, contained in a report titled ‘Voter Bribery as an Election Malpractice in Kenya; A Survey Report Dec 2016’, reveals a deeply rooted culture where election outcome is influenced despite the act being criminalised in law.

From each of the 10 counties surveyed, more than 50 per cent confessed that with ‘something small ‘, they would elect a candidate without focusing on issues.

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