Kenya makes arrests in anti-corruption sweep

The country’s anti-graft commission arrests 27 people, many from major companies

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A poster welcoming Pope Francis to Kenya later this month: President Uhuru Kenyatta is under pressure to tackle Kenya’s rampant corruption. Photograph: Tony Karumba/AFP/Getty Images

Kenya’s anti-graft commission arrested 27 people yesterday, including the heads of two state-run companies and the suspended head of a third, in one of the biggest sweeps in the commission’s three-year history.

Another seven people, including a regional governor, have not yet been arrested, but are being sought for “corruption-related charges”.

Fresh cases of graft led to calls for resignations and put further pressure on President Uhuru Kenyatta to tackle Kenya’s rampant corruption.

Last week, Mr Kenyatta convened a joint government and private-sector team to draw up strategies to fight corruption.

The Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) said most of the 27 people turned themselves in yesterday and are expected to appear in court today and tomorrow.

The 27 included Silas Simiyu, managing director of the Geothermal Development Company, along with eight people from the company, and Evans Ngibuini, managing director of the National Water Conservation and Pipeline Corp, and five others from that company.

It also included Charles Tanui, suspended managing director of the Kenya Pipeline Company, and three other officials from the company.

Most of those accused work in procurement, the EACC said. It says 70 per cent of all corruption in the country relates to procurement.

Edith Honan

– (Reuters)