EACC seized Sh140m of Sh3.8bn of stolen public assets

Friday February 12 2016

Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission CEO Halakhe Waqo.

Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission CEO Halakhe Waqo. The EACC has seized properties worth only Sh140 million out of stolen public assets valued at Sh3.8 billion. PHOTO | SALATON NJAU | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

By FRED MUKINDA
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The anti-graft agency has repossessed properties worth only Sh140 million out of stolen public assets valued at Sh3.8 billion.

In a report to Parliament for the 2014/2015 financial year, the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission said it is investigating more properties valued at over Sh2.2 billion before embarking on recovering them.

The war to reclaim public assets was fought in the courts, but in some cases there were out-of-court settlements, says the report.

The EACC also revealed that it unearthed plans to steal a further Sh1.6 billion worth of public assets during the year but scuttled the plots.

EACC boss Halakhe Waqo pinpointed the hindrances his staff faced in pursuing corrupt officials.

“These include human resource constraints, inadequate policy and legal framework, slow judicial processes and limited reach across the country for anti-corruption services,” he said.

Among pending cases, the EACC seeks to recover Sh100 million from the office of the Auditor-General. This is a four-year case that seeks to establish whether the Kenya National Audit Office illegally acquired “Audit Vault Software” through single sourcing.

PRIVATE DEVELOPERS

In another case, the agency seeks to reclaim land belonging to the University of Nairobi valued at Sh2 billion that was grabbed by a private developer.

A similar investigation in 2008 by the then Kenya Anti-Corruption Commission is still pending and seeks to recover land illegally acquired from Lang’ata Primary School valued at Sh100 million. 

In total, there are 41 cases where wealth owned by individuals has been identified for repossession because they have not convinced the EACC that it was acquired legally.

While most cases involved land, the agency is also pursuing instances where cash was stolen and wants it returned.

For instance, the report says, Sh577 million was stolen from the National Cereals Produce Board and it wants the money returned.

In another case, involving people whose names the report does not reveal, the EACC is seeking Sh1.3 billion in “unexplained wealth”.

The cases were reported from the counties and national government ministries.