Kenya Association of Manufacturers in partnership with Global Compact Network Kenya and Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) today held a forum to discuss the implementation of the Bribery Act 2016.
The newly enacted law is an initiative of the business community aimed at supporting government’s efforts to curb corruption in Kenya and reduce the cost of doing business.
Speaking at the forum, EACC Chair, Rt. Archbishop Eliud Wabukala said that it is difficult to fight corruption individually, adding that EACC has already put in appropriate guidelines to assist the private and public sector curb corruption.
“Corruption is the single hindrance to socio-economic growth. The cost of corruption equals 5% of the global GDP. EACC cannot do it singlehandedly, in partnership with the private sector, we need to look into corruption and establish the right culture in our organizations to fight it. The implementation of this Bribery Act will be beneficial to all of us. Its purpose is to provide corruption penalties particularly in the private sector,” added Rt. Archbishop Wabukala.
The Act came into force on January, 13 2017 and places obligations on public and private entities to put in place procedures that are appropriate to their size, scale and nature of operations, for prevention of bribery and corruption.
KAM Chairperson Flora Mutahi stated that corruption threatens sustainable economic development, ethical values and justice. She also said that the enactment of the Bribery bill is a great move to enhance high ethical standards in doing business.
“A 2016 survey on Global Economic Crimes ranked Kenya second, rising from 17% in 2014 to 61% in 2016, with corruption and procurement fraud contributing 47% and 37% respectively.With the enactment of the Bribery Act, we are hopeful that the mechanism put in place will prevent corruption in our institutions. Apart from having to report acts of corruption, the Act puts us to task to reduce corruption in the private sector,” said Ms. Mutahi.
KAM CEO Ms Phyllis Wakiaga reiterate the importance of the implementation of the Bribery Act. Ms Wakiaga who is also the UN Global Compact Network Kenya Representative, said that any opportunity to curb out corruption is one that should be highly endorsed.
“KAM works in partnership with Global Compact to ensure that our membership is engaged in doing business with high ethical standards. Corruption is an obstacle to economic and social development. Its negative impact on sustainable development impedes business growth, escalates costs and poses serious legal and reputational risks,” stated Ms Wakiaga.
The new chair of the anti corruption body also said that they are looking to advance the implementation of the Bribery Act by comparing it with other countries. “The Act should be widely understood. We will go to England to learn about their Bribery Act implementation, and hope it will provide useful lessons. When we fight corruption honour the country,” concluded Rt. Archbishop Wabukala.