Kenya’s anti-corruption watchdog, the EACC, is changing tack– gone are the entertaining sting operations and long-running court cases.
Instead a new 5-prong approach will take centre-stage and accounting officers will take responsibility for failure to prevent corruption in their government departments. In other words, employment contracts and internal discipline will be the sharp edge of corruption enforcement. The EACC is also vetting its staff in a year-long exercise.
It’s not only the Brazilian President, ex-President and Richest Banker who are facing graft hurdles in the build-up to the Rio Olympics- the Brazilian official in charge of Olympic security has resigned ‘in embarrassment’ at the unscrupulous bunch of crooks he’s been working for.
In other Brazilian news, I just discovered that Joseph Safra, the billionaire banker charged with corruption, had an elder brother (now deceased) who endowed Harvard University’s Centre for Ethics. I bet he’s turning in his grave at the irony.
The Angolan Catholic church is speaking up against graft and inequality. Hopefully the bishops will not face the same fate as Angolan rapper, Luaty Beirao, convicted of rebellion– though many suspect the real reason was his rapping too loudly against inequality and repression.
Finally, for those who still doubt that corruption, inflation and high costs of living are linked, in Kyrgyzstan and apparently Russia as well the cost of corruption is literally baked into the cost of rent, groceries and train tickets. Furthermore, the same article notes that the daily cost of bribery to an ordinary Russian allegedly ranges between $15 and 220.
Although police-issued peace bonds are now illegal in Kenya after the High Court declared them unconstitutional last year, they are apparently still used in Canada for counter-terrorism cases. Basically the peace bond restricts a suspect to a certain area, requires them to report to the police regularly, may lead to confiscation of passports etc. Failure to abide by the terms of a peace bond can lead to criminal charges.
Angola joins the list of African countries belatedly realizing that its criminal justice system must incorporate information technology and big data or remain backward.
To my surprise, Brazil has not had a substantive anti-terror law until now. That has now been remedied though the definition of terrorism as ‘the practice by one or more individuals of acts for the reason of xenophobia, discrimination or prejudice of race, color, ethnic group or religion with the aim to generate social or generalized terror, endangering people, assets, the public peace or safety’ is somewhat abstract and confusing (unless it it the translation from Portuguese that is defective). Curiously it does not include political motives as a reason for terrorism; by contrast Kenya’s Prevention of Terrorism Act 2012 explicitly does so.
Here is a timely reminder to Kenya Police and ODPP personnel who’ve been harassing bloggers and users of social media through inventive interpretations of our hate speech, telecommunications and incitement laws: the Constitution trumps all. Just as bloggers and other internet users should be think carefully about what they’re writing, Police and Prosecutors should think carefully about the arrests they make and the charges they bring and whether they truly strike a balance with other constitutional rights and freedoms as well as whether they are in the public interest.
In New Jersey, pro poker player has been sentenced to 8 years in prison for defrauding ‘investors’ of over $500,000 and laundering the proceeds of his fraud. He was actually gambling in casinos with the money his victims gave him. This is a timely reminder to Kenyans who’ve discovered a passion for sports gambling and betting: not everyone who promises ‘investment returns’ can actually deliver.
Tanzania’s former taxman is fighting charges of money laundering. From what I could glean, these stem from her alleged role in the Standard Bank corruption scandal that recently led to a deferred prosecution agreement between that bank and UK prosecutors.
Finally HSBC is still struggling to shake off the tag of ‘The Launderer’s Bank of Choice’. Even after the memorable $1.2 billion (Ksh.100 Billion) 2012 settlement for money laundering misdeeds, they’re still not up to snuff according to their government appointed monitor. If the monitor finds HSBC in breach of its commitments, the US Justice Department could re-start the money laundering prosecution that they deferred under the 2012 settlement. The key problems the monitor found seem to arise from KYC compliance in some countries and the fact that the anti-money laundering system is still rather raw and ‘immature’.