Uhuru defends why he has not fired senior gov’t officials implicated in graft


Uhuru defends why he has not fired senior gov't officials implicated in graft
President Uhuru Kenyatta delivers his State of the Nation address in Parliament on April 4, 2019.

In Summary

  • President Kenyatta’s remarks came on the backdrop of backlash over the Ksh.21 billion Arror and Kimwarer dams scandal in which multiple CSs have since been questioned.
  • He further added that – henceforth – any government officials taken to court over corruption will have to step aside and answer to their cases first.

President Uhuru Kenyatta on Thursday downplayed pressure from a section of the public as well as political leaders to sack cabinet secretaries and senior government officials implicated in graft.

Speaking in parliament during his State of the Nation address, President Kenyatta said the war on graft would only be fought within the confines of the law and not based on public uproar.

“I must say that I have been under pressure that who am I sacking? But I must, however, caution that the pursuit of the corrupt will be undertaken strictly within the remits of the law. It will not be done through vigilante justice and pitchfork protest,” said the President.

“Though media narratives rally our resolve as they should, our actions will not be based on condemnation before one has been heard.  The cornerstone of our democracy is the rule of law, and the principle of due process is a critical anchor.”

President Kenyatta’s remarks came on the backdrop of backlash over the Ksh.21 billion Arror and Kimwarer dams scandal in which multiple CSs have since been questioned.

Treasury CS Henry Rotich was on March 5 and March 6, 2019 grilled at the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) headquarters to shed light on the controversial payment of Ksh.21 billion to Italian firm CMC di Ravena

His Devolution counterpart Eugene Wamalwa, who was the Water CS when the multi-billion contract was issued, Trade CS Peter Munya — who was in charge of the East Africa Community at the time — as well as Agriculture CS Mwangi Kiunjuri were also questioned in the matter.

Various public servants – including current and former Governors – have in the near past been arrested and arraigned over embezzlement of funds meant for public use before later being released and resuming their duties.

During his address, however, the Head of State assured Kenyans that the country was winning the war on corruption saying “If you love your country, you should reject corruption, and all those who steal the sweat of your countrymen.”

He further added that – henceforth – any government officials taken to court over corruption will have to step aside and answer to their cases first.

“As I have I said and done before, I once again undertake that anyone whose case goes before court will be removed from government will thereafter have to answer their case before a court of law,” he said.

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Story By Ian Omondi
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