BERLIN, Germany, Apr 8 – President Uhuru Kenyatta on Friday sought to assure Kenyans that there was no reason for worry over the banking sector saying the placing of Dubai, Imperial and now Chase Bank under receivership was simply a “cleaning up” exercise.
He said it was critical to the overall health of the economy that bankers not be allowed to operate outside the law and expressed every confidence in Central Bank Governor Patrick Njoroge’s ability to keep them in line.
“The governor is just saying that we must no longer brush it aside. We must now strengthen and remove weaknesses in our banking system. We can no longer brush it aside. Our bankers must begin to understand that they must follow the law but that does not mean that the overall health of our banking and financial sector is not strong.”
He said his only concern is that depositors not pay the price for the “sins of others.”
“What is important to me is to ensure that all our depositors especially the small depositors remain and stay protected,” he said.
He said he had instructed his Treasury Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich to calm fears in an effort to avert investor panic as was witnessed on Wednesday when massive withdrawals were made from Chase Bank.
Still on the subject of the Treasury, he said sufficient funds would be made available to the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission to ensure the smooth running of the 2017 General Election.
He also denied that public resources were abused during the recent by-elections in Malindi as alleged by the Coalition for Reforms and Democracy.
The cancellation of the Greenfields airport expansion project, he said, was a decision taken solely in the interest of the prudent management of public resources. “There was nothing else to it,” he said.
The LAPSSET project on the other hand, he said, would go forward whether or not the Ugandans decided to have their oil pipeline go through Kenya or Tanzania.
“He told President Hollande,” a source in the Presidency said, “that a company – no matter how big or small – would be allowed to divide the region.”
President Kenyatta also denied the charge that the government had forgotten the victims of the 2008 postelection violence in celebration of the vacating of the crimes against humanity charges his Deputy William Ruto was facing before the International Criminal Court.
He said there were no displaced persons still in camps and said those responsible were arrested and tried in 2008/9.