Help govt fight graft, Safaricom CEO Bob Collymore tells private sector

Corruption undermines fair competition and impedes long-term foreign and domestic investment.

Monday January 11 2016

By BRIAN NGUGI
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Pressure is piling on Kenya’s private sector to make good their promise to help in the fight against corruption.

Late last year, President Uhuru Kenyatta enlisted the help of the sector in curbing private sector-induced corruption by among other measures ordering companies to sign approved code of conduct to transact business with the government.

Over the weekend, Safaricom Chief Executive Officer Bob Collymore reiterated that the business community must join the fight against corruption, for a “healthy business environment and growing economy.”

In a statement detailing the adverse impact of corruption on business, Mr Collymore asked the private sector to deliver on its pledge to join the fight against corruption, insisting that “graft undermined development and private companies must do more to curb it.”

“Corruption undermines fair competition, distorts development priorities and impedes long-term foreign and domestic investment,” the Safaricom boss told participants of the 3rd Biennial Africa Academy of Management Conference held at Strathmore Business School in Nairobi.

The conference was attended by over 200 delegates from 16 African nations and others from the United Kingdom, United States of America, Europe and Asia.

The Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) estimates that 70 per cent of all real and perceived corruption allegations stem from procurement, where the private sector plays a major role.

“The relationship between a company’s impact and ethical behavior cannot be downplayed,” Mr Collymore said.

According to the Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industries (KNCCI) Chairman Kiprono Kittony, the Kenyan private sector is fully committed to help the government fight corruption.

“It is time for the private sector to rise to the challenge and meet the Government half way to make it a reality,” Mr Kittony told the Nation as business leaders ushered in the New Year.

The comments by the business leaders are seen to embolden the push to fight graft in State offices.

The President’s tough call meant to curb graft fuelled by private companies made last year included blacklisting of companies that flout the code of conduct by barring their participation in any government tendering in future.

The President also declared corruption a national security threat.

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