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Thursday, 18 January, 2001, 18:15 GMT
IMF withholds Kenyan aid
Daniel Arap Moi
President Moi is accused of failing to combat corruption
By Cathy Jenkins in Nairobi

The IMF and the World Bank say that they are withholding financial aid due to be released to Kenya because the government has failed to keep its promise to implement anti-corruption measures.

Senior IMF officials have held two days of talks with President Daniel Arap Moi and other government figures to discuss what the IMF describes as serious setbacks to the Kenyan Government's anti corruption efforts.

Child in Nairobi
Kenya's poor remain desperate for financial aid

The international financial bodies want a number of specific issues addressed before they release the money to Kenya.

First they want two anti-corruption bills to be debated by parliament and enacted into law as quickly as possible.

The Kenyan Government had promised that the anti-corruption economics crimes bill and the code of ethics bill, would be passed by the last session of parliament, but this did not happen.

The other major point of concern centres on the Kenya anti-corruption authority.

This body was set up to root out corruption at all levels of the government and civil service, but recently it was declared unconstitutional and its operations were immediately halted.

'$20m' withheld

The IMF senior representative in Kenya, Sam Itam, called these significant setbacks and said that because of them the release of funds could not yet be completed.

According to Kenya media reports, the sum withheld amounts to nearly $20m.

Kenya is desperate for financial aid.

The IMF only agreed to resume aid to Kenya after an earlier 1997 suspension, following a government pledge to take measures to eliminate rampant corruption.

Mr Itam said that the government had stressed its commitment to redress the situation and that further discussions would take place in about a month's time.

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See also:

10 Jan 01 | Country profiles
Country profile: Kenya
12 Jan 01 | Africa
Violence at Kenya polls
28 Jul 00 | Africa
Kenya welcomes IMF decision
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