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Treasury tough rules on parastatal bank accounts

The National Treasury has announced tough rules for opening bank accounts of State corporations. Previously, all the agencies were required to provide minutes of a board meeting to open an account.

From this month, it will be mandatory for the said agencies to not only provide the minutes but also a cover letter from the parent ministry and a confirmation letter from Treasury.

Parastatals that will not have complied with this new directive by the end of the month will have the accounts frozen. The directive is contained in a circular issued by National Treasury,  Cabinet secretary Henry Rotich dated July 2, issued to all commercial banks with which various government agencies have accounts.

The CS has also demanded details of the total amounts in the bank, history of opening the account, signatories and frequency of withdrawals.

The information for these accounts was to be provided by July 31, to control the number of accounts a single agency can hold.

This is part of the heightened efforts the government has put in place to deal with graft, amid reports that some entities hold several accounts in different banks.

The heightened crackdown on corruption has led to the arrest and prosecution of high-profile individuals hitherto regarded as untouchable. Sources say some of those on the radar of investigating agencies are in the Cabinet.

On Sunday, President Uhuru Kenyatta hinted to underlying unease in his administration, saying he had lost friends in the renewed war on corruption, and especially because of demolition of buildings on riparian land in Nairobi.

“I have lost close friends over the war on corruption. We must be ready to lose friends and do what is right in the eyes of God…. A time has come for us to fight impunity. No matter how powerful you are, which high office you hold, how much wealth you have or how many people you know in high positions, that will not save you,” he said. On Tuesday, the President chaired the first Cabinet meeting in nearly three months, with a clear message that the corruption ogre must be slayed.

He warned Cabinet Secretaries that they should not expect him to intervene in graft investigations, saying they will be held responsible for decisions they make.

Uhuru also warned that he will not tolerate anything that undermines or derails the Big Four agenda, the development blueprint on which his legacy depends.

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