June 28, 2018 / 1:47 PM / a year ago

Kenya's president says no one immune from prosecution in graft crackdown

File Photo: Kenya's President Uhuru Kenyatta arrives to attend The Queen's Dinner during The Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM), at Buckingham Palace in London on April 19, 2018. Daniel Leal-Olivas/Pool via Reuters

NAIROBI (Reuters) - Uhuru Kenyatta said on Thursday no one was immune from prosecution under a corruption crackdown, after what a minister described as a malicious attempt to implicate the Kenyan president’s brother in an investigation into illegal sugar imports.

The government is in the middle of a crackdown against what it calls illicit goods, estimated at 40 percent of all traded goods, that businesses say stifle the local manufacturing sector through unfair competition.

“There is no going back in war against corruption,” Kenyatta said after opening a Kenya-U.S. trade meeting. “If there is evidence against anyone, including my brother, charge them.”

The president made his comments after Agriculture Minister Mwangi Kiunjuri on Monday gave a parliamentary committee a list of companies licenced to import sugar as part of an investigation.

Muhoho Kenyatta is a director in one of the firms the minister named, the local Business Daily newspaper said on Wednesday, quoting information provided by a member of parliament.

The firm, named as Protech Investment Limited, is not listed on Kenya’s companies register, and Muhoho Kenyatta could not immediately be contacted by Reuters.

Kiunjuri said on Thursday that attempts to link Muhoho Kenyatta to the investigation into sugar imports by “singling out” the firm whose board he sits on were “misleading (and) malicious”.

Reporting by Duncan Miriri, editing by John Stonestreet

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