Members of Parliament rejected a Bill yesterday (Wednesday) that had sought to increase maximum fines for graft to Sh10 million or jail terms not exceeding 10 years.
Majority of the MPs voted “no” when Deputy Speaker Moses Cheboi put the Bill to the vote after lawmakers concluded debating the proposed law at the Second Reading.
Had the Bill sailed through, it would have gone one step away from receiving presidential assent to become law. However, its fates casts a pall on the political leadership’s commitment to tackle corruption.
Kiharu MP Ndindi Nyoro who had sponsored the bill had sought to amend the Anti-Corruption and Economic Crimes Act, 2003 to increase the minimum penalties for graft in an effort to curb theft of public funds and assets.
“As it is at present, a person convicted of an offence under the Act is liable to a fine not exceeding Sh1 million or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding ten years or both,” Mr Nyoro said in the Bill’s memorandum of objects and reasons.
The MP argued that enhanced penalties were needed to curb the surge in corruption cases in the country.
The Committee on Delegated Legislation, which scrutinised the Bill ahead of debate in the House, had advised MPs to reject the proposed law, arguing that imposition of higher penalties would violate the rights of an accused person to a fair trial.
Mr Nyoro blamed corruption cartels for his Bill’s defeat.
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