Kenya has signed a deal with Switzerland clearing the way for the East African nation to recover ill-gotten gains in Swiss accounts.
It’s targeting at least seven hundred and twenty million dollars. A priority is money and assets linked to the Anglo-leasing scandal.
Kenya also has the support of the United Kingdom and Jersey Island where it’s believed proceeds of crime amounting to millions are stashed.
Part of this includes at least $2 million from a multi-million dollar scandal in Kenya in which several fake companies received funds for high tech passports and police forensic labs.
“The framework outlines our commitment and action plan for recovering proceeds of crime and corruption. And it will ensure illegally acquired wealth, held outside our country, is repatriated to benefit the Kenyan people,” said Kenya’s President, Uhuru Kenyatta.
“This framework will allow Switzerland to return assets that have been blocked for example from the Anglo leasing case,” Switzerland President Alain Berset explained.
A major win for President Uhuru Kenyatta who came to power on the promise of fighting corruption but has not managed to rid the country of graft.
Asset recovery deters corruption and sends an unequivocal message that corruption does not pay. Switzerland is seemingly keen to send a message that it is no longer a safe haven for stolen assets.
“Switzerland has successfully returned illegal assets to several countries in the past, the best being Nigeria,” says Switzerland President, Alain Berset.
It will however not be an easy ride for Kenya to recover its money if what Nigeria went through to repatriate its $1.2 Billion looted assets is anything to go by.
“There are so many hurdles and obstacles; and hurdles that countries have to navigate just to recover what rightfully belongs to them because you have a legal system that you have to go through. It’s quite unfortunate because you kind of think that you want to get everything that belongs to you, but at the end of the day you are forfeiting up to 15 to 20%,” said Nigeria’s Foreign Affairs Minister, Geoffrey Onyeama.
Kenya will use the recovered money to fund health care activities in the country.