Crime money influencing Kenyan society, claims Raila
Minister Raila Odinga yesterday said that money from criminal networks is
finding its way into public life to buy elections and influence
political outcomes in Kenya and the region at large. Raila said it is "unfortunate" that organised crime is financing political
activities and criminals are being guaranteed protection.
This has led to the entrenchment of the culture of impunity that pervades the country's politics and business, he said. “There are credible fears that key members of our security
institutions are also involved,” he said at the launch of the report 'Termites at Work: Transnational organised crime and state erosion in Kenya' prepared by the International Peace Institute.
The PM said organised crime is eroding the advances made in the economies of the
region. It is diverting resources, depriving the state
of revenue for investment and making it difficult for honest and legal
firms to survive, Raila said. “It has led to unpunished trade in
counterfeit and other illegal imports. Criminal networks defraud the
public through tax evasion at our ports and airports, costing our
economy billions of shillings and undermining manufacturing and growth,” he said.
Raila said Kenya has become a significant transit hub for hard drugs, and
expressed concern that organised crime will lead to widespread
availability of small arms. “The drugs trade and use are undermining national
development, hampering governance, eroding trust in institutions,
constantly testing international confidence in our country and rendering
useless our massive investment in education and national
infrastructure,” he said.