Uhuru on the spot as corruption scandals rock the country


Kenyatta on peace and unity

In Summary

  • Uhuru's first term in office was tainted by the Ksh.791million NYS scandal.
  • At the time, the Devolution Ministry was headed by the then Cabinet Secretary Anne Waiguru, PS Peter Mangiti and Director General Nelson Githinji.
  • However, after dramatic raids at their residences and a series of appearances at Integrity Centre and before National Assembly committees, the country 'moved on'.

The litany of multi-billion-shilling corruption scandals in government entities has put President Uhuru Kenyatta in the spotlight yet again.

Critics are questioning whether agencies mandated to deal with corruption have failed or whether State House is too lenient on government officials linked to the scandals.

“I know there’s pressure on me concerning these corruption issues,” President Uhuru Kenyatta told members of Kenya Private Sector Alliance (KEPSA) during a recent meeting.

KEPSA had called for a new strategy in dealing with increased cases of corruption and accountability from top government officials entrusted with managing taxpayer’s money.

Ultimately, the buck stops with the President, though at times he appears helpless in the fight against corruption.

“Show me what I have not done, I cannot jail anyone, what do you want me to do? Do you want me to set up a firing squad at Uhuru Park?,” he one time posed.

Uhuru’s first term in office was tainted by the Ksh.791million scandal at the National Youth Service (NYS).

At the time, the Devolution Ministry was headed by the then Cabinet Secretary Anne Waiguru, PS Peter Mangiti and Director General Nelson Githinji.

In an attempt to demonstrate his resolve in fighting corruption, President Kenyatta presented a list of 375 suspects to Parliament and ordered that they step aside.

However, after dramatic raids at their residences and a series of appearances at Integrity Centre and before National Assembly committees, the country ‘moved on’.

Less than six months into his second term, cases of mega graft scandals have emerged yet again.

The famous NYS was seemingly an easy cash cow as corrupt government officials allegedly siphoned another Ksh.9billion.

Four other government agencies; the National Cereals and Produce Board (NCPB), Kenya Power and Lighting Company (KPLC), Kenya Pipeline Company and the Youth Fund also lost taxpayers money.

The number of mega corruption scandals have increased despite President Kenyatta’s repeated tough talk.

Meanwhile, the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) said investigations into the NYS scandal have unearthed illegal payments to shadowy suppliers and exaggerated cost of items.

A letter then emerged apparently from the Head of Public Service Joseph Kinyua written to CID Director George Kinoti.

It said that President Kenyatta should be given daily updates on the investigations into the NYS, Kenya Power and NCPB scandals.

However, on Friday, State House denied writing such a letter.

The sweeping changes that President Kenyatta made at the helm of the police force and the appointment of Noordin Haji as Director of Public Prosecutions was expected to boost the fight against corruption.

 

On his part, Baringo Senator Gideon Moi demanded that the President cracks the whip on those mentioned in various audit reports tabled in Parliament.

Kikuyu MP Kimani Ichung’wa, also the Budget Committee Chairman, called for speedy investigations and prosecution of those linked to the scandals.

 

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Story By Francis Gachuri
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