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Kenya to probe multibillion dollar Eurobond graft claims


KenyaKenya’s public prosecutor on Wednesday ordered police and the anti-corruption commission to file any evidence of graft surrounding the country’s multibillion dollar Eurobond issue.

The government has so far failed to explain how the proceeds from a $2.75 billion (2.6 billion euro) Eurobond issued last year have been spent, sparking probes by the police and Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC), Director of Public Prosecutions Keriako Tobiko said.

In a letter dated December 1, but only made public on Wednesday, Tobiko requested the heads of CID and EACC, “to interrogate, record statements and obtain evidence from all parties concerned and forward the complete file to my office within 10 days”.

Finance minister Henry Rotich has insisted all the Eurobond money has been properly spent, but has yet to present detailed accounts.

Kenya is mired in corruption scandals. Earlier this year an official audit could only account for one percent of government spending and a quarter of the entire $16 billion (15 billion euro) budget.

There have also been a series of land grabbing and procurement scams, and allegations that Kenya’s army shares the spoils of a $400 million (376 million euro) sugar smuggling racket with an Al-Qaeda group it is supposed to be fighting in Somalia.

Last month, a dozen foreign diplomats representing Kenya’s biggest donors criticised its failure to tackle the corruption “crisis” and threatened to impose travel bans on wrongdoers.

Soon afterwards President Uhuru Kenyatta fired five ministers embroiled in corruption scandals and reshuffled his cabinet.

Pope Francis, on a visit to Kenya last week, urged leaders to work with “transparency” to ensure a fair distribution of national resources as criticism grows over runaway graft.

An Africa-wide survey by anti-corruption campaign group Transparency International published this week found that nearly two-fifths of Kenyans had paid bribes in the last year.

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