Kibaki, Raila asked to get tough on graft

January 15, 2009 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 15 – President Mwai Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga have been urged to take the lead in fighting graft to do away with the culture of impunity.

Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) Chief Whip Jakoyo Midiwo said on Thursday that the leaders should make it clear that such practices in government would not be tolerated.

“Nobody seems to be in charge. That is why people can loot public funds and arrogantly deny it. Look at what is happening in the Energy Ministry; all those people after looting are not in jail.”

The MP was making reference to the ongoing oil scandal worth Sh7.6 billion that has seen several top executives either getting sacked or quitting their jobs.

He warned that Kenyans were getting fed up and could no longer wait patiently for the government to end the rampant corruption in the country.
Mr Midiwo also proposed that the President and PM consider forming a leaner Cabinet for better management.

“During the Bomas constitution talks we rooted for 17 Cabinet Ministers though some of us said 12. We can even choose eight of the best and let them run the country to economic prosperity.”

He said the extra funds derived from having a leaner cabinet could be used to feed Kenyans who are dying of starvation, and institute infrastructural development.

Mr Midiwo spoke at a forum organised by the Regional Centre for Stability, Security and Peace in Africa to discuss the political and legal crises facing the grand coalition and its impact on proposed reforms.

The ODM Chief Whip also called for the overhaul of the Judiciary saying it had proved ineffective in handling corruption cases.

“The way the Electoral Commission of Kenya was disbanded is the same way we should bring drastic changes to the Judiciary. If Kivuitu (Samuel, former ECK chairman) can go, so can the Chief Justice Evans Gicheru,” he told the forum.

At the Forum, the Kenya National Human Rights Commission Chairperson Florence Jaoko suggested that the government set up mechanism to handle wrangles within the ruling coalition.

Ms Jaoko said should the state fail to do so, the Panel of Eminent Personalities chaired by Former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan should assist.

“The panel owes Kenyans a responsibility. The fact that they brought this team together means they still have a major role to play… They should call on the two parties if they feel things are not going too well,” she stated.

The Kenya Dialogue and Reconciliation Team that set up the coalition government had last year tried to set up a body to resolve conflicts in the merged government. They however abandoned this course for unknown reasons.


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