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EU threatens to blacklist Kenya over corruption, money laundering

by kenya-tribune

The European Union has threatened to blacklist Kenya over corruption and money laundering, further citing the government’s reluctance to curb the vices.

While responding to the recent corruption ranking index by the Transparency International, the EU Ambassador to Kenya Henriette Geiger said the country’s reluctance to contain corruption and money laundering menaces has occasioned investor prospects who had set or had plans to set their feet in the country to shun away.

During a media briefing on the upcoming European Union-Kenya Business Forum with the Kenya Private Sector Alliance, Geiger pleaded with authorities to fight the vices which she say are key determinants of a country’s investment with Kenya on the watch list for money laundering allegations.

“We think fighting corruption is the best thing for Kenya…. If Kenya is not making an effort, it will be blacklisted and that has a lot of very negative consequences. The most important one is that investors are shying away,” confirmed Geiger.

Should the slight improvement by the TI deteriorate, Kenya faces serious sanctions of doing business with EU member countries if it fails in its mandate to fight graft.

Kenya has been ranked among the world’s top money laundering hotspots as by Corruption Perceptions Index report by Transparency International standing at number 123 out of 180 countries and territories assessed with a score of 32 out of 100 according to a 2022 report surrendered to the US Congress clocking a slight improvement up from a score of 30 points in 2021.

The score matched the sub-Saharan average score of 32 nonetheless fell below the global average score of 43.

Geiger concurred her fears towards President William Ruto’s administration in its fight against graft pointing out procurement as the mostly hit corruption department in the country.

“The EU is also concerned that President William Ruto’s government is yet to make an attempt at fighting corruption…. I was struck by the fact that Kenya only improved by meagre 2 points…. But sometimes an improvement is relative because the others are bad,” Geiger said.

Soon after assuming office in September 2022, President Ruto directed CBK to review the capping of money so that Kenyans are able to transact from Sh1million ($8,000), without notifying the regulator in review of the 2016 Act.

“I am working with CBK to review the capping of money transaction by Kenyans can be reviewed…. A number of Kenyans have reverted to storing money under their mattresses which pauses a great security risk. This is clearly not the intention of the anti-money laundering regulations,” Ruto observed.



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