Eastern Africa Strengthens Cooperation in Asset Recovery
20:09:19: A steering group meeting of the Asset Recovery Inter-Agency Network for Eastern Africa (ARIN-EA) has spotlighted Mutual Legal Assistance (MLA) as critical in guiding the recovery of assets even in cases where the proceeds of corruption are stashed in foreign jurisdictions.
The meeting, which was hosted by the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC), expressed the hope that the MLA guidelines would help stifle illicit financial flows and also aid in repatriation of assets acquired through corrupt means. It brought together focal persons from six of the eight ARIN-EA member countries: Burundi, Djibouti, Kenya, Rwanda, South Sudan and Uganda.
The focal persons met at Naivasha from 16th to 20th September, 2019, through the support of the GIZ Africa Programme for Combating Illicit Financial Flows. The Inter-agency network is the asset recovery arm of the Eastern Africa Association of Anti-Corruption Authorities (EAAACA) and comprises focal persons drawn from law enforcement agencies in eight member countries.
The discussions on the MLA Guidelines were led by Ms. Jacinta Oduor from Governance and Policy Consultants, LLC.
During the closing ceremony, the ARIN-EA President and Focal Person from the Inspectorate of Government in Uganda, Ms. Sarah Birungi, pointed out the need for commitment to the asset recovery network by focal persons. She also urged them to sensitize stakeholders through in-country sessions so as to create awareness about the Network.
The EACC Secretary / CEO, Mr. Twalib Mbarak, who is also the current EAAACA Vice-President, said that ARIN-EA had a very big role to play as asset recovery would deter perpetrators of corruption from accumulating wealth if they knew that they would lose it. Mr. Mbarak further said that, “we need to find ways to address corruption or our children will be doomed”. He concluded by saying that we should ensure that the fight against corruption was a regional fight and not an individual country’s fight.
Publication & Reports