A trader retrievesa receipt from an EBM. The amended law reinforces ministerial powers to fine taxpayers who circumvent using electronic billing machines to avoid paying taxes. (File)

Kenya’s private sector umbrella body on Wednesday lauded the government’s tangible action against illicit trade, rampant corruption and the enjoyment of ill-gotten proceeds.

Kenya Private Sector Alliance (Kepsa) welcomed the arrest and arraignment of suspects in the alleged theft of about 90 million U.S. dollar taxpayers’ money via the National Youth Service (NYS), the country’s premier vocational training institute for under-privileged youth involved in some of its flagship projects.


“Kenya Private Sector Alliance appreciates the speedy action that has been taken against those who are believed to have participated in the massive plunder of the public’s money,” Kepsa CEO Carole Kariuki said in a statement issued in Nairobi.

Investigators have rounded up more than 50 suspects linked to the theft of 90 million dollars at the NYS and charged in court with the crime.

Investigations were launched after it emerged that an unknown amount of money could have been lost at the NYS through fictitious payments.

All government procurement, finance and accounting have been sent on compulsory leave pending audit of their lifestyles.

Kariuki said lauded the ongoing crackdown on illicit trade and contrabands by the multiagency team, saying criminal activities have permeated critical sectors of the country’s economy, thriving on corruption and graft.

“We will continue supporting this exercise to ensure the health and safety of Kenyans is not at risk, as well as ensure genuine producers get the rightful share of income they deserve from the market,” said Kariuki.

She cautioned politicians not to politicize the ongoing war against corruption, noting that suspects should also enjoy the confidence that if convicted, they are allowed appeals until the highest court of the land.

“We call upon others interested in the future of this nation including the media, religious leaders, civil society to speak out and also ask tough questions against those that may seek to derail its future for their own political and selfish interests,” she said.

According to a recent study on the vice of counterfeiting in Kenya, it is estimated that an approximate 300 million U.S. dollars is lost by Kenyan manufacturers per year, while the government loses over 60 million dollars annually as potential tax revenue. Enditem


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