Cabinet Secretary for Interior and National Administration, Kithure Kindiki, steered a session of the Inter-ministerial Committee on Anti Money Laundering and Counter Financing of Terrorism at Harambee House today.
The meeting zeroed in on appraising the country’s alignment with global standards, devising strategies to bolster the fight against money laundering and terrorism financing.
The meeting gains added significance in the wake of a stern warning from the European Union in February.
The EU Ambassador to Kenya, Henriette Geiger, cautioned that Kenya’s susceptibility to corruption and money laundering could result in blacklisting, potentially deterring investors.
“For us, we think that to fight corruption is in the best interest of Kenya because maybe this is the single most determinant of investment. And also, Kenya is on the watchlist for money laundering.
“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,” Ms. Geiger said.
The EU’s concerns were triggered by Transparency International’s corruption index, which ranked Kenya 123 out of 180 countries and territories, with a score of 32 out of 100.
Although showing a slight improvement from the previous year, Kenya’s score still falls below the global and sub-Saharan averages, indicating significant challenges in combating corruption.
Moreover, a 2022 report submitted to the US Congress identified Kenya as one of the world’s money laundering hotspots, further underlining the critical nature of discussions led by CS Kindiki.
Notable figures present included IG Justin Muturi, Dr Kamau Thugge, Eng Japhet Koome, Evelyn Cheluget, and Saitoti Maika, signaling Kenya’s unwavering commitment to addressing financial crimes.