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Kenya president rejects bill restraining corruption watchdog

[JURIST] Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki [official profile] Thursday refused to sign a bill [JURIST report] that would have limited the Kenya Anti-Corruption Commission (KACC) [official website] to only investigating crimes committed after 2003. The amendment, deleting portions of the 2003 Anti-Corruption and Economic Crimes Act [text], would have made it impossible for the commission to continue investigations into some of the country's most notorious corruption cases [JURIST report], including the $1 billion scam known as the Goldenberg Affair [BBC report; Wikipedia backgrounder]. The Financial Times has more.

The Kenyan government has taken a number of anti-corruption initiatives in recent years, especially after Kibaki promised to clean up widespread government graft after being elected to office in 2002. Last year, Kenyan authorities charged [JURIST report] four former senior Kenyan government officials and a top businessman with corruption for their roles in the Goldenberg Affair. The charges came one month after Kibaki's education and energy ministers both resigned [JURIST report] after being implicated, but not charged, in the Goldenberg case for actions they took while serving in the previous regime.

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