Walk the talk on graft, money laundering war


Financial Reporting Center (FRC) Director General, Saitoti K. Maika presenting copies of the National Money Laundering and Terrorism Financing Risks Assessment Report 2021 to the former Ministry of Interior and Coordination of National Government Cabinet Secretary Dr Fred Matiangi launched on July 27, 2022, at the Serena Hotel. PHOTO | FRANCIS NDERITU | NMG

Kenya has made a new commitment to track the financial dealings of high-ranking politicians, including the President, and their allies from next year aimed at preventing the country from being locked out of the global financial system for money laundering.

The Treasury has told the International Monetary Fund (IMF) that the State will track the flow of cash of politically exposed persons, including their bank accounts, to match their known income and their financial dealings.

The Financial Reporting Centre, the anti-money laundering czar, is preparing changes to the law that will require financial institutions to reveal sources of cash for top politicians, families and business associates.

The fresh commitments made to IMF are important coming at a time when the fight against money laundering has come under sharp focus following an unprecedented collapse in the quick succession of several graft and money laundering cases after the recent political transition.

Already Kenya has a chequered history of multi-billion shilling scandals that have failed to result in high-profile convictions and weak anti-money laundering systems that will keep the country on the wrong side of the fight.

We, therefore, call on all relevant actors in the money laundering space to follow through with the commitments to ensure Kenya protects its financial system.

A good place to start will be dealing with the findings of a damning report by an international anti-money laundering team that flagged deficiencies in Kenya’s decade-old anti-money laundering law on reporting financial transactions done by politically exposed persons, families and allies.

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