Teams of experts completes rules for Uhuru lifestyle audit

President Uhuru Kenyatta is ushered into parliament by Deputy President William Ruto to deliver his annual State of the Nation address to Parliament. May 2, 2018. Photo/Jack Owuor
President Uhuru Kenyatta is ushered into parliament by Deputy President William Ruto to deliver his annual State of the Nation address to Parliament. May 2, 2018. Photo/Jack Owuor

State officers may be forced to surrender to the government all the cash and other assets whose origin they

cannot explain.

They could also be arrested and prosecuted when the lifestyle audit is completed.

A team of experts is currently working on the rules to guide the lifestyle audit announced by President Uhuru Kenyatta two weeks

ago.

The team has proposed that the audit be done annually. Any cash or property which a state officer has acquired within that period and which cannot be explained

will have to be surrendered to the government.

President Kenyatta said that the lifestyle audit should include himself and Deputy President William Ruto.

The DP has said he is ready for the audit on condition that it is not selective.

The team of experts is preparing the Executive Order that the President is expected to sign in a few days.

In their report, the experts say the audit will be conducted based on Chapter Six of the Constitution; the Public Ethics Officers Act; the Leadership and Integrity Act 2012; and the Anti-Corruption and Economic Crimes Act No 3 of 2003

They believe that existing laws adequately address the legal framework for conducting lifestyle audits for state officers and public servants.

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According to the team, the President can form a special team including foreigners to conduct the exercise, or he can decide to use the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission or the Kenya Revenue Authority.

Once the audit is complete, all state officers will have to sign a new code of conduct which will, among other things, require them to declare where they have interests that may conflict with their roles as public servants before they take up state jobs.

The order will then give both EACC and KRA power to inspect the register at least annually and take over cash and assets that cannot be accounted for.

All state officers, according to the proposals, will be required to submit to the commission all foreign bank details.

State officers who open new accounts, for instance for school fees for their children, will have to declare the same to the commission for approval.

Currently Article 76( 2 ) of the Ethics Act states that a state officer should not open or continue to operate a bank account without approval of the EACC but this has not been enforced..

If President Kenyatta accepts the proposals, his Executive Order will strengthen and enforce Section 14( 1 ) of the Leadership and Integrity Act which states, among other things, that all gifts to state officers should registered as property of the state.

There is a proposal to also amend the Leadership and Integrity Act 2012 to make the lifestyle audit an annual exercise for all state officers.

Schedule 2 of the Act will also be amended to ensure that the lifestyle audit includes properties owned by immediate family as well as bank details, loans and liabilities.

“The files of those who will not be able to account for their lifestyle or aspects of it will be handed to the Director of Public Prosecution for further review,” says the report.

The government will also utilise the self-declaration form for state officers from the Leadership and Integrity Act. This form will be modified for use in the life style audit.

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