The fight against corruption is a collective task that call for all role players; employers from private as well, to ensure morality and right standing of their workers. CEOs and top executives of firms risk a fine of KShs.1 million or a 10-year jail term is they have not established an internal code of conduct to report and fight corruption.
The penalties follow the expiry of the six months grace period for firms to set up in-house platforms that will assess risks and exposure to corruption, train staff on fighting graft and establish internal networks for workers to anonymously report suspected bribery and graft cases. Additionally, the firms will be expected to hire anti-corruption executives, have a written code to map out corruption risks and report cases to the anti-graft agency within 24 hours.
This follows a six months grace period companies had been granted by the government from October 14 to comply with the stringent requirements as the State shifts focus to the private sector in the war against corruption.
The regulations are anchored on the Bribery Act, 2016 which places the offence on directors and senior officials whenever their companies fail to establish internal controls and systems to fight and report corruption. The requirements also compel companies to protect whistle-blowers within their businesses or set up channels that allow leaking of corrupt dealings.
High-ranking officials in the private sector have now joined State and public officers in the list of persons required to fight and report corruption, a crime that has seen taxpayers lose billions of shillings every year. The move will bolster efforts of anti-graft agencies to fight corruption in the country.