NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 26 – President Uhuru Kenyatta on Thursday afternoon took the ‘bull of corruption’ by the horns and directed all government officials mentioned in a confidential report by the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission to step aside pending investigations. President Kenyatta said in his State of the Nation address that he expected officials of county governments and the Judiciary named in the report to also vacate office.
“I hereby direct that all officials of the national and county governments that are adversely mentioned in this report, whether you are a Cabinet Secretary, Principal Secretary, or Chief Executive of a State institution to immediately step aside pending conclusion of the investigations of the allegations against them,” he said amid cheers from Members of Parliament.
President Kenyatta took the bold step of attaching the confidential report from the CEO of the Ethics and Anti Corruption Commission Halake Wako as part of his annual report on values to Parliament, urging Speakers of both Houses to ensure they were put to good use.
“It is not my place to determine the guilt or otherwise of any of the people mentioned in the said report or any other. However, the time has come to send a strong signal to the country that my administration will accept nothing less than the highest standard of integrity from those that hold high office,” added the President.
He gave the Director of Public Prosecutions Keriako Tobiko 60 days to ensure the investigations were concluded, in a bid to fight corruption which has been endemic.
“The investigating authority must ensure that the Director of Public Prosecutions has received the subject files without delay. I also want to caution that this should not be an open-ended process; justice must be expeditious, as justice delayed is justice denied.”
He expressed concern over the wrangles recently witnessed in the Ethics and Anti-Corruption (EACC) saying this was negatively impacting the fight against corruption.
He was given a standing ovation by MPs who urged him to fire the commissioners but he reminded them it was their duty.
The President claimed that the infighting within EACC was fuelled by the Anglo Leasing case it has been handling involving many high profile individuals who do not want the truth to emerge.
“Let it be known that today I draw the line, no one will stand between Kenyans and what is right in the fight against corruption and other monstrous economic crimes,” he warned.
Kenyatta implored the Council on Administration of Justice to ensure efficient and speedy processing of corruption-related cases to ensure they were expedited as soon as possible so that justice could be served.
The country has recently witnessed an influx in corruption malpractices the most recent being within the National Assembly where members have come out accusing each other of being dishonest.
Various State officers including Cabinet Secretaries and Governors have been mentioned as having been involved in corruption rackets.
While noting the progress made by the government in the soon to be two years it has been in power, the President acknowledged that more needed to be done.
“We have a lot to be proud of, a lot to be grateful for—our beloved nation is on the path to greatness,” he said.
He stated that the Jubilee administrations’ most pressing challenges are insecurity, disunity and corruption, but added that no test or obstacle was too great to be conquered.