, NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 15 – The U.S. Government welcomes the decision to order certain officials to step aside while investigations into the maize and education scandals proceed. This constitutes an essential first step needed to address corruption scandals.
The Kenyan people and the international community are waiting to see whether the government’s actions taken so far signal a new decision to take bold actions to fight corruption at all levels with respect to these cases and the other major corruption scandals.
Thorough, transparent, and independent investigations should be carried out expeditiously, and vigorous prosecutions should take place as warranted by the evidence. Government officials at all levels must be held accountable for their actions. We urge the leaders of the coalition government to work together to ensure that all appropriate steps are taken so that justice is served and the rule of law is respected.
The signing of the National Accord and formation of the coalition government was a watershed which ended the worst crisis in Kenya’s history. The coalition leaders, therefore, have a responsibility to act in a unified way to move forward the historic reform agenda. Only a unified coalition government approach, in the spirit of the National Accord, will be credible. Only a unified approach by the coalition leadership will signal true determination to work together to fight corruption.
The coalition partners must concurrently work together in a cooperative spirit to successfully complete the constitutional review process. The work of the Committee of Experts and the Parliamentary Select Committee constitutes major progress. We urge the coalition partners to maintain momentum in the constitutional review process, and hold a timely referendum which will unify the nation.
Working together to tackle corruption, to implement other key reforms such as police reform, and to see the constitutional review process to a successful conclusion are, taken together, vital to ensure the future democratic stability and prosperity of all Kenyans.
We stand behind the message of the Kenyan people: “the resilience of the Kenyan people must not be taken for granted any longer. Tackle grand corruption and give Wananchi a new constitution.”
(Michael Ranneberger is the US Ambassador to Kenya)