UHURU ORDERS TOP OFFICIALS ADVERSELY MENTIONED IN CORRUPTION TO STEP ASIDE

 Daily Nation

By BASILLIOH MUTAHI

President Uhuru Kenyatta has asked national and county government officials adversely mentioned in a confidential report by Kenya’s anti-graft agency to resign.

He especially noted that the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission’s secretariat were under siege because of the cases they were handling.

For the sake of transparency, the President said he had decided to attach the confidential report he had received from the commission’s chief executive officer.

President Kenyatta spoke during the State of the Nation address to a special joint sitting of the two Houses — the Senate and the National Assembly — on Thursday afternoon.

During the address the President apologised to all Kenyans for past wrongs committed against Kenyans.

The President said he had directed the National Treasury to establish a fund of Sh10 billion in the next three years for restorative justice as part of an effort to bring closure to the country’s painful past.

President Kenyatta’s speech came against the backdrop of rising corruption and insecurity in the country.

In his maiden State of the Nation address to both houses on March 27 last year, the President had promised to tackle corruption, address insecurity, contain the public wage bill and oversee the growth of the economy. (WATCH the inaugural address here.)

However, the goal is yet to be realised as rampant insecurity and widespread corruption cases have continued unabated, denting the government’s image and ability to tackle the critical issues.

The State of the Nation address is a legal requirement, according to Article 132 of the Constitution, which requires the dead of State to address Parliament once a year.

Follow the events as they happened.

15:02 The National Anthem is played outside Parliament after which President Kenyatta inspects a guard of honour.

15:19 The Anthem is played again as the two House Speakers and President Kenyatta enter the parliament’s chamber. Senate Speaker Ekwee Ethuro begins the session with a prayer.

15:24 National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi reads out the provisions of Article 132 of the constitution regarding the State of the Union address before inviting President Kenyatta to speak.

15:28 President Kenyatta touts an impressive Kenya’s economic growth, points out that the country is 9th largest economy in Africa after rebasing its GDP. Kenya is one of the fastest growing economy in the world, and points out steady growth in the oil and gas sector. Says Kenya has been singled out by an prestigious international publication as one of the seven outstanding emerging markets.

15:32 The President points out developments in the energy sector, including in geothermal development. He says electricity connections have risen to 37 per cent from 26 per cent in the past year with 37 385,000 connections in the last three months. Kenya is looking at a million connections by December 2015, more than double the connections last year.

15:35 Budgetary allocations increased for the education sector and creation of ICT hubs in schools.

15:38 Digital migration will enable more people to access television. We as government are willing to work with all stakeholders for a prosperous broadcasting sector. Kenya should be proud of our global leadership in mobile technology.

15:40 Standard Gauge Railway progressing according to plan, close to half of the is excavated ready for sleepers. Lapsset is a significant project, to transform million of lives especially in northern Kenya and will contribute to

deepening of regional integration.

15:41 Construction of JKIA terminals have placed the airport in a top league internationally.

15:42 Provision of services to the public has improved, 35 services are being provided under one roof through Huduma Centres in 23 counties in Kenya. The service has attracted various commendations.

1545: We will increase capacity for cancer diagnosis and treatment though the leasing of equipment which will ready in May. The capacity is most sophisticated in the region to diagnose and treat cancer in hospitals across hospitals in Kenya. Maternal health has improved due to free maternal care in public hospitals.

15:48: Digitising of land records on course, the Nairobi registry is complete. Once complete we will be able to issue three million titles annually.

15:50 On international relations; We have launched foreign and diaspora policy. We continue to strengthen relations with other nations and have opened diplomatic missions which leverage investment opportunities. Single customs territory within the region has enabled movement of goods within from days from Mombasa to Kampala down from 18 days.

15:55 Parliament has passed two dozen laws in implementing the constitution. On devolution, 190 billion was allocated to devolution in the first year, 226 billion in the current year and is projected to rise to 258 billion in the next financial year, well above the 15 per cent minimum.

15:58 We have witnessed contests between leaders in counties such as Narok, Makueni, Marsabit. Ethnicity is being issued to exclude and divide people, which risks derailing devolution. Leaders must be guided by national aspirations. Kenya is one indivisible nation.

16:03 In 2013, I appointed a task force to look into operations of parastatals. The legal framework on governance of parastatals will shortly be forwarded to Parliament.

16:06: Security has improved in the past year thanks to the security agencies. Global terrorism, however, is still a threat. Youth radicalisation and violent extremism, drug trafficking as well as ethnic conflicts, sexual and gender-based violence are challenges that persist. We have created a single command structure in the counties to enhance security.

16:07 There have been improvements in immigration strategy. From next year it will be possible to apply for passports and visas online.

Key recent appoints are expected to inject new ideas and enhance the morale of our security personnel.

16:10 Police vetting affecting the morale of the security officers, urges Parliament to consider more effective ways of vetting.

16:15 We are still plagued by memories of unresolved murders, torture chambers. We have been witness to violence linked to elections, 650,000 Kenyans displaced. People are held hostage by this tragic history. A truth and justice commission was formed and the report put before the house. I recognise its impossible to fully compensate those affected.

16:20 Many thousands of Kenyans have reached out to reconcile. To build on past efforts of the past government for compensation and resettlement.

Notwithstanding the recommendations of TJRC, I have asked the National Treasury to establish a fund of Sh10 billion in the next three years for restorative justice.

It is time to bring closure to this painful past and to benefit from a unified cohesive, nation.

On my own behalf and the government, I apologise for all Kenyans and my compatriots for all past wrongs. I seek your forgiveness. We stand unites as a people, as one nation.

16:26 EACC, especially the secretariat are under siege because of the cases they are handling. For sake of transparency, I attach the confidential report I received from the EACC. All national and county government adversely mentioned in the confidential report for corruption should step aside.

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