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FREEZE ASSETS

Assets freeze will speed up corruption cases

Critics will argue that it is unfair to punish suspects before they are found guilty.

In Summary

• Delaying tactics in court has provided impunity to corruption suspects.

• New asset freeze was first mooted by President Kenyatta in 2015.

A file photo of EACC headquarters in Nairobi.
A file photo of EACC headquarters in Nairobi.

The Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission and the Director of Public Prosecutions are to start freezing seizing the assets of suspects charged with corruption - even before they are convicted.

The new policy was agreed some months ago but has been in the pipeline since 2015 when President Kenyatta asked the Attorney General to make the necessary legal arrangements.

Critics will argue that it is unfair to punish suspects before they are found guilty. But at this stage, the assets are only fixed and will be freed if the suspect is found innocent.

 
 
 
 

The reality is that there has been impunity for the cartels behind corruption in Kenya. Even if they are caught, they can delay matters so long in court that they suffer no real consequences.

Now suspects will feel the pain from the day that they are charged.

The anti-corruption division fo the High Court is trying to expedite the huge number of cases on its plate. But it has also been subject to delaying tactics by suspects and their lawyers.

The assets freeze will now give suspects a real incentive to finalise their cases to determine their innocence as quickly as possible. That will be the simplest way to get their assets returned to them.

Quote of the day: "The moving finger writes, and having writ moves on. Nor all thy piety nor all thy wit, can cancel half a line of it."

Omar Khayyám
The Persian poet was born on 18 May, 1048