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Kenya pledges to work with industrialists to curb corruption

By David Musyoka NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- Kenya’s anti-graft body pledged Thursday to work with industrialists to fight corruption which is rampant in the East African nation.

Kenya Association of Manufacturers in partnership with Global Compact Network Kenya and Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) agreed at a forum to discuss the implementation of the Bribery Act 2016 that corruption deters foreign investments in the country.

Speaking at the forum, EACC chairman Eliud Wabukala said it is difficult to fight corruption individually, adding that EACC has already put in appropriate guidelines to assist the private and public sector curb corruption.

“Corruption is the single hindrance to socio-economic growth. The cost of corruption equals 5 percent of the global GDP,” Wabukala told the industrialists in Nairobi.

“EACC cannot do it single-handedly, in partnership with the business community, we need to look into corruption and establish the right culture in our organizations to fight it,” he added.

Wabukala said the implementation of the Bribery Act will be beneficial to all since its purpose is to provide corruption penalties particularly in the business community.

The newly enacted law is an initiative of the business community aimed at supporting government’s efforts to curb corruption in Kenya and reduce the cost of doing business.

The Act came into force on Jan. 13 and places obligations on public and private entities to put in place procedures that are appropriate to their size, scale and nature of operations, for prevention of bribery and corruption.

KAM Chairperson Flora Mutahi said corruption threatens sustainable economic development, ethical values and justice, noting that the enactment of the Bribery bill is a great move to enhance high ethical standards in doing business.

Mutahi said a 2016 survey on Global Economic Crimes ranked Kenya second, rising from 17 percent in 2014 to 61 percent in 2016, with corruption and procurement fraud contributing 47 percent and 37 percent respectively.

“With the enactment of the Bribery Act, we are hopeful that the mechanism put in place will prevent corruption in our institutions. Apart from having to report acts of corruption, the Act puts us to task to reduce corruption in the private sector,” she said.

KAM CEO Phyllis Wakiaga reiterated the importance of the implementation of the Bribery Act, saying that any opportunity to curb out corruption is one that should be highly endorsed.

“KAM works in partnership with Global Compact to ensure that our membership is engaged in doing business with high ethical standards. Corruption is an obstacle to economic and social development,” said Wakiaga who is also the UN Global Compact Network Kenya.

“Its negative impact on sustainable development impedes business growth, escalates costs and poses serious legal and reputational risks,” she added.



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