Soon you will be arrested, prosecuted and fined or jailed if you do not report any knowledge or suspicion of instances of bribery to the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission; that is if and when the brutal anti-corruption bill prepared by Aden Duale passes through parliament and finally get signed into law by the President. The anti-corruption bill also proposes that a fine of shs 5 million and/or a jail term of 10 years be the penalty on those who practice corruption, no matter how big or small the corruption case is.
In addition to the fine and jail term, the anti-corruption bill also proposes to bar anyone convicted of corruption from vying for or being appointed to any public office for at least ten years. Another consequence of engaging in corruption, if the Bill becomes law, will be to pay a fine of up to five times the amount of the advantage gained or loss incurred as a result of engaging in bribery – a fine that will apply when a “person received a quantifiable benefit or any other person suffered a quantifiable loss”.
“In addition to the imprisonment or fine stipulated in this section, the court may order the convicted person or private entity, or in appropriate cases, a public body, to pay back the amount or value of any advantage received by him to the government,” the Bill reads in part.
The bill also aims to penalize those Persons of Interest who have barred foreign direct investments from coming into the country. For example, sometime last year Samsung reported that a certain Governor demanded for a bribe before Samsung could set up a production plant in Nairobi. According to the allegations, the bribe demanded by the Governor was more than what Samsung had planned to invest in the first place. Samsung later decided to invest in Ethiopia.
Word in the streets also has it that the reason Uganda ran away from the joint Kenya-Uganda pipeline venture is because certain persons of interest wanted to be sorted out first before Total, the company that was supposed to rollout the project, was allowed to commence the project. It is being rumoured that the President was unable, for reasons that have not been properly explained, to stop these persons of interest from demanding the bribes.
Most of the beneficiaries of corruptions have invested their corruption proceeds in real estate. To deal with this, the anti-corruption bill proposes that those convicted of corruption should have any form of property acquired through corruption to be confiscticated by the Government.
Private citizens and/or companies that have been convicted of corruption will also be barred from conducting business with the Government either in their capacity as companies or as private citizens.
“The overall objectives of this Bill is to extend the fight against corruption to the private sector, especially by criminalising bribery in the private sector, to provide for specific requirements of private entities to have in place procedures for the prevention of bribery, to create a legal obligation for every person who becomes aware of an act of bribery to report the matter to the EACC and to provide for an effective co-ordination and accountability framework in the prevention, investigation and prosecution of acts of bribery,” the Bill says.