Kenyan lobby calls for sobriety

February 23, 2010 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 23 – Community Based Organisations (CBO) are now asking the two Principals to work together in fighting graft in the country that has taken its toll on major government programmes.

The CBOs which allege that key government officials continue fueling their appetites by drying the exchequer with scams are asking the two heads to stop paying lip service in the fight against corruption and to instead take stern action against the vice.

National CBO Council Chairman Tom Aosa on Tuesday asked President Mwai Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga to take a joint stance in fighting corruption saying it was ruining the country’s international image and portraying Kenya as one of the most graft infested places.

“Theoretically, the President remains the most outspoken anticorruption crusader in Kenya today. We were promised that there will be no sacred cows but we have a Cabinet fellowship of corrupt priests defending the sacred cows against resignation,” he said.

The CBOs further asked Kenya’s development partners to tighten the conditions under which they issued aid so as to force the government to break its ties with graft.

“There has to be a concerted effort from our development partners to stop all inflow of capital to the government until our leaders fire all corrupt ministers and officials of the government and express them to Kamiti Maximum Prison,” he said.

He explained that poor people at the community level suffered most because of graft and impunity.

“There are those that are extremely poor who depend on every single coin that comes from the government so when one process is stopped, it changes their lives for many years. When money is stopped for a day it affects them for a month, if it is stopped for a month, it affects them for many months running to years,” he said.

The CBOs also maintained that the two principals end their dispute saying it didn’t matter who among the two had more power as long as there was responsible governance.

“How can we fight corruption and move this country forward without necessarily looking back to who has more powers? That one should be left to politicians to fight among themselves as PNU and ODM. As Kenyans we want development, openness and accountability; that is all we care about,” he said. 

Mr Aosa further said that the CBOs would expect the President to address the issues of graft and the wrangles between him and the Premier when he opened Parliament on Tuesday afternoon.

He also said that CBOs would lobby Kenyans against paying taxes if the government failed to resolve all issues revolving around corruption.

“Within seven days we will give the President another notice before we start asking Kenyans to drop all their Electronic Tax Register machines so that we can have this country managed. We will also have several mass actions so that they can listen to the people who put them there in the first place,” he said. 

Mr Aosa also faulted the justice system saying it was unfair as it seemed to favor those who were in positions of influence while leaving out those who were not.


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