On Sunday evening, UK High Commissioner Nic Hailey appeared on KTN’s Checkpoint programme to discuss the UK-Kenya partnership on anti-corruption.
The interview was timed to coincide with International Anti-Corruption Day, which has been observed annually on 9 December, since the passage of the United Nations Convention Against Corruption on 31 October 2003 to raise public awareness for anti-corruption.
Speaking to host Yussuf Ibrahim, Mr Hailey said that President Kenyatta showing leadership by appointing strong leaders to head the fight against corruption was ‘fantastic’.
“It is important for leaders mentioned in corruption allegations to step down to allow for smooth investigations, if they are innocent they should be honourably restored,” he said.
The High Commissioner discussed the framework signed by the UK, Kenya, and Switzerland for the return of assets from corruption and crime in Kenya and highlighted one particular example involving a British company.
“When proceeds of corruption come back, we have a mechanism to ensure it is used for development. The Smith & Ouzman case, we purchased ambulances which are helping the Kenyan people,” he said, reiterating that in the UK the penalties for corruption are very high.
He went on to say he was delighted that the government of Jersey will be in Nairobi next week when they will also sign up to this initiative of refining assets from corruption and crime.
“We are working with businesses to educate them on risks. It’s important that businesses champion anticorruption. I hope that British investors can partner to deal with this,” he added.
Explaining the UK’s proactive approach, Mr Hailey said that he has “appointed special financial investigators to work with Kenyan authorities to track down stolen public money.”
British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt also recorded his own video message on the topic, stating that “Corruption is a global issue which needs a global response,” and that “the UK is committed to working with partners to tackle it, so that the benefits of economic growth can be enjoyed by all.”
The High Commissioner went on to discuss the two country’s partnership after the UK leaves the European Union stating that the two countries will retain their trading relationship with “Kenya able to export as much as it wants to the UK free of tariffs.”