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Third of Kenyan budget lost to graft, anti-corruption head warns

Third of Kenyan budget lost to graft, anti-corruption head warns

Kenya

Kenya is losing almost $6 billion – a third of its budget – to corruption every year, the country’s anti-graft chief has cautioned.

Philip Kinisu, who became chairman of the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) in January, noted that the total state budget was close to the equivalent of $20 billion.

“Kenya’s budget is now approaching 2 trillion shillings; a third of it is being wasted through corruption,” said Kinisu, whose predecessor resigned last year.

Kenya's budget is now approaching 2 trillion shillings; a third of it is being wasted through corruption

Kenya has a history of multi-million dollar scandals that have failed to translate into high-profile convictions. This has angered the public, who accuse top officials of acting with impunity and encouraging graft by those in lower posts.

Businesses also often cite pervasive corruption as one of the biggest obstacles to investment.

But Kenya’s finance minister Henry Rotich has denied the east African nation was losing colossal amounts to corruption and blamed poor documentation by government officials as the major reason that fuelled the perception that funds were being squandered.

“It is not that the money is lost, it is probably the documentation is not provided on time,” the minister told Reuters on the sidelines of a loan deal signing at the Treasury.

More than 55,000 corruption cases have been reported to the EACC in recent years, indicating the task ahead for Kinisu.

“The fight against corruption is not a sprint,” the EACC head says.

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