Saitoti: I am up to the task

October 29, 2010 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 29 – Internal Security Minister Prof George Saitoti has welcomed his appointment as acting Foreign Affairs Minister and backed the renewed war on graft.

Prof Saitoti told journalists on Friday that he will take up the responsibilities of the two ministries diligently.

“I just actually arrived this morning from abroad and have not been to the office yet, but it’s a job and we are going to do it,” said Prof Saitoti.

His appointment came after Foreign Affairs Minister Moses Wetangula stepped aside from his docket to allow investigations into allegations of misappropriation of funds in the purchase and disposal of Kenyan embassy properties abroad.

Prof Saitoti said it is the responsibility of the government to deal with corruption and ensure prudent management of resources.

“The country needs to be run in a transparent way and resources need to be managed transparently and that is where the country wants to go,” he said.

“There is a desire from the public, Parliament and the Executive to fight corruption.”

The last two weeks has seen the suspension of Higher Education Minister William Ruto over a Sh96 million fraud case he is facing in relation to the sale of a plot in Ngong’ forest to the Kenya Pipeline Corporation.

Foreign Affairs Permanent Secretary Thuita Mwangi has also resigned over the foreign affairs embassy scam. City Mayor Geophrey Majiwa has also stepped aside after he was charged in relation to the Sh283 million cemetery saga.

Reports indicate that the Kenya Anti Corruption Commission is also planning to re-open investigations concerning past scams including Anglo leasing and the Goldenberg.

“I don’t think anybody can fault this particular strategy,” said Prof Saitoti.

In the meantime Prof Saitoti announced that preparations for a joint disarmament exercise between Kenya and Uganda are complete. He said a joint committee had completed modalities of the exercise.

“It is our hope that this operation will be carried out sooner because this matter is urgent if we are going to save the lives of the people affected by cattle rustling,” he said.

The Minister told a regional disarmament meeting of the Great Lakes region that joint ventures between affected countries on their borders is the most effective way of dealing with inter-communal conflicts.

He urged regional governments to also focus on sustainable development projects so that communities prone to cattle rustling will find sustainable livelihoods. Prof Saitoti said the government will continue investing heavily in education, health, water and infrastructure in these areas as witnessed in the last two years allocations of Sh40 billion to Northern Kenya.


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