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Graft and poor planning cloud Vision 2030 dream, says report

The Oxford Business report, however, praises President Uhuru Kenyatta (pictured) administration for increased efforts to effect good governance issues. FILE PHOTO | NMG

Corruption and poor planning have put a dent on Kenya’s ambitious infrastructure drive, a new report shows. This raises questions on value to taxpayers as the country continues to implement Vision 2030 projects.

The report compiled by Oxford Business Group (OBG), a global research and consultancy firm, cites inefficiency, sleaze and inadequate planning as having held back nearly all flagship projects.

“Among the challenges we have faced putting together a framework for the projects, inefficiency, corruption and coordination are perhaps the most serious,” President Uhuru Kenyatta told OBG in an interview published in the report.

Kenya is currently implementing a number of Vision 2030 projects, among them the standard gauge railway, pipeline, Lamu port and some energy projects.

Among other hitches, the projects have been dogged by claims of price inflation.

“We have not always been able to find the money we need at reasonable prices, and it has taken us longer than we expected to get the right sorts of monitoring practices in place,” said Mr Kenyatta, adding that the government has since “gone to war with corruption”.

The report says corruption extends beyond the flagship projects, citing the Auditor-General’s July 2015 report, which showed 60 per cent of government spending “had issues”, while a further Sh390 billion could not be accounted for.

The report, however, praises the Kenyatta administration for increased efforts to effect good governance issues “from money laundering and terrorist financing to the training of government officials and the prosecution of corrupt acts.”

Kenya has committed to joining the Egmont Group, an international gathering of financial intelligence units, as part of efforts to tame the vice.

The country has also committed to sign up to and implement the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiatives, the Partnership on Illicit Finance and the Financial Action Task Force of the World Bank.

Other measures cited in the report include an anti-corruption co-operation programme with the US to reinforce the Financial Reporting Centre and Central Bank’s abilities to track and monitor illicit cash flows, compulsory ethics training for all public officials, and the professional prosecution of corruption cases.

“Kenyatta and his political machine have probably been better than any administration before at delivering the message of a tougher stance on corruption [but] prosecutions must now follow,” the OBG quotes Mr John Moore, director of programmes for the Sudans and the Great Lakes at the Rift Valley Institute, as having said.




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