Foreign ambassadors pledge support for tacking corruption in Kenya

US Embassy Nairobi
The US Embassy in Nairobi

The United Kingdom, were among the dozen foreign ambassadors from key donor nations meeting Kenya’s Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) yesterday.

Following the meeting, a joint statement pledging support to Kenya in its efforts to tackle corruption and the need for a systemic response was released via the Embassy of the United States’ website.

The statement said that corruption weakened Kenya’s economic growth and security. The donor nations also threatened to impose travel restrictions on those responsible for graft.

The statement is as follows:

As strong and committed international partners of Kenya, we share the concern of Kenyans at the ongoing problem of corruption. We agree with President Kenyatta that corruption threatens the country’s economic growth, the provision of government services, and security. It deters investment and costs jobs. Corruption is undermining Kenya’s future.

Today, we met with officials of the Government of Kenya’s Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission and reiterated our support to strengthen a culture of integrity in Kenya. Broadly, we welcomed the steps President Kenyatta and the government have taken in recent months to address corruption. Commission officials outlined their efforts to address the corruption crisis and we discussed how the partners can further support these efforts.

In our discussions today, we agreed that all allegations of corruption must be investigated. When evidence of corruption is found, those responsible must be prosecuted and, if guilty, appropriately punished – regardless of position or wealth. For our part, the international partners will continue to assist with investigations that involve our citizens or cross into our jurisdictions. We are committed to taking tough and swift action when our own citizens are involved in activities that weaken the rule of law in Kenya. We are prepared to take further steps to support the Kenyan authorities, including, when permitted by law, the return of stolen assets to the Kenyan people or to impose travel restrictions on those responsible for graft.

In the discussions, the international partners also urged the government to take further steps to empower the Commission and other corruption-fighting agencies with the tools and resources needed to counter the scourge of corruption in a credible, effective, and sustained manner.

Building integrity and a culture that prevents corruption must be a priority for Kenya’s leaders, but it is also the responsibility of every Kenyan. Government officials, opposition politicians, the judiciary, civil society, business, faith leaders, and citizens alike must make clear they will not tolerate corruption. And all must take appropriate action to end it. As international partners, we will work together with Kenyans to achieve this goal.