, NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 31 – President Uhuru Kenyatta on Thursday asked the Judiciary to fast-track high level corruption cases pending in court.
In his remarks Thursday during the State of The Nation address, he complained that there were excessive delays which slowed down the war against corruption.
“Kenyans are justified to demand from the Judiciary a tightened regime that is impatient with unwarranted delay. The Judiciary has the funding and the requisite leadership. It must therefore, play its rightful role. It must not be perceived to be helpless, a bystander, or complacent in this war that is a threat to our development and our security,” he stated.
According to President Kenyatta there are over 360 corruption cases were pending in court most of which involve high ranking individuals.
The Head of State regretted his decision to sack several members of his Cabinet and other high ranking government officials for alleged involvement in corruption but on the other hand said it was the right decision to take in efforts to protect the country from losses of colossal amounts of money, poor service delivery and deprivation of quality life.
“I took the unprecedented step of dismissing a third of my Cabinet; a painful but necessary decision,” the president told the House.
Though corruption has been a major hurdle for even previous governments, President Kenyatta said he will not spare any effort ensuring that all corrupt officials and individuals are held accountable for their actions.
“I pledged that the days of wanton corruption were numbered; and that those who chose the way of graft would be brought to book,” he stated. I believe that the war must, and will, be eventually won.”
He tabled before the House reports of progress of corruption cases pending in court and a list of assets seized from corrupt deals.
He further announced the government’s multi-agency and comprehensive approach employed to prevent graft.
“To complement investigation and prosecution, we are investing in preventive measures, as well as tracking, seizing, and confiscating the proceeds of corruption.”
Recovery of ‘property and assets worth Sh1.6 billion acquired using proceeds of corruption’ was one of the successes achieved after the establishment of the Financial Reporting Centre and the Asset Recovery Agency.
“These efforts are bearing fruit. This is demonstrated by the recent quick tracing and seizure of Sh400 million of assets acquired through stolen National Youth Service funds. There has also been progress in the Jersey and Anglo-Leasing cases,” the President stated.
The money recovered, he said, will be used to create a fund that will be used to support projects to benefit the vulnerable populations in the country.
He further announced that the government’s commitment to prevent corruption and recover stolen assets had been extended to cooperation with other jurisdictions to ensure culprits do not escape the country or hide stolen funds in foreign countries.