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Kenya, Switzerland ink deal to recover cash stashed abroad

President Uhuru Kenyatta Alain Berset
President Uhuru Kenyatta (right) and Swiss counterpart Alain Berset (left) witness the signing of a framework agreement for return of stolen assets stashed in Switzerland to Kenya by the Swiss Ambassador to Kenya Ralf Heckner and Attorney General Paul Kihara June 9, 2018. PHOTO | MARTIN MUKANGU |NMG 

Kenya and Switzerland have inked a pact that paves way for reclamation of funds and property gotten through proceeds of graft and stashed abroad.

The deal, dubbed Framework for the Return of Assets from Corruption and Crime in Kenya (FRACCK), was signed today by President Uhuru Kenyatta and Swiss counterpart Alain Berset during the latter's official visit to Kenya.

“We have seen, in the last few months, a new intensity in the fight against corruption in Kenya. Quite frankly, my Administration has shown that corruption cannot, and, will not, be tolerated,” Mr Kenyatta said Monday.

According to the presidency, the first assets to be targeted by the new framework will be funds linked to the Anglo-Leasing scandal that are hidden in Switzerland.

The deal is in line with the United Nations Convention against Corruption that provides guidelines aiding the recovery of stolen assets.

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According to the agreement signed, assets recovered will go towards development objectives such as projects in the health sector.

"A steering committee comprising the Executive Office of the President, the Attorney General, the National Treasury, the Assets Recovery Agency, Ethics and Anti-Corruption Agency and envoys or representatives representing the partner countries will be established to implement the deal. Parts of the roles of the team will be identifying potential assets to be recovered, identifying potential implementing organisations, decide unanimously on priorities for the use of returned funds, monitor progress in returning assets, receive reports on the progress of projects funded through recovered assets and learning lessons for future returns," a statement from the president's office said.

The deal also allows for cooperation with States other than Switzerland in a bid to recover looted cash from other jurisdictions.

Mr Kenyatta was joined by Deputy President William Ruto and other senior government officials after inking the deal, vowing that the fight against graft would intensify.

Mr Berset is in Kenya on a two-day official visit. He held private talks with Mr Kenyatta earlier today, followed by a bilateral meeting on how to deepen trade and security ties between the two countries.

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