, NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 27 – President Mwai Kibaki has emphasised that the Government will come out strongly in tackling issues of corruption.
President Kibaki said as much as the Government invested a lot of funds into development projects, it expected value for those funds, thus misappropriation of public funds would not be tolerated.
"It is high time people changed attitude and became satisfied with their rightful salaries and wages instead of misappropriating public funds," the Head of State said.
The President was speaking on Wednesday when he officially opened the office of the Prime Minister on Harambee Avenue in Nairobi.
Re-stating the Government\’s commitment to accountability in the use and allocation of tax-payers funds, President Kibaki said that the Government would firmly and systematically deal with corruption.
"All relevant Government departments have been instructed to speedily conclude any pending cases of corruption," President Kibaki said.
With the enactment of the new Constitution, President Kibaki said a firm foundation for the future stability and development of the country has been set.
The Head of State thanked all leaders and Kenyans in general for the hard work, commitment and patriotism that has enabled the coalition Government to be the success it has been so far.
In this regard, the President urged all leaders across the political divide to demonstrate the same level of patriotism and dedication to the country as they shoulder the shared responsibility of implementing the new Constitution.
Noting that the opening of the Office of the Prime Minister is another step in upholding the National Accord that created that office, President Kibaki said the move also underscores the determination of the Grand Coalition Government to respect the provisions and principles that underpinned the Accord.
"To me, the most important issue we set out to achieve is the unity of Kenyans and the efficient delivery of services that will translate into better living standards for our people. I am glad to note that we have made good progress," President Kibaki said.
The President said he was particularly encouraged that substantial progress has been made in addressing the key issues that were identified as critical to the development and unity of the country at the time of signing the Accord.
He cited the implementation of constitutional, legal and institutional reforms; tackling poverty and inequity; tackling unemployment, particularly among the youth; consolidating national cohesion and unity; undertaking land reforms; and addressing transparency, accountability and impunity as some of the issues that are critical to the country\’s unity and development.
President Kibaki further pointed out that the creation of a better working environment would enable the Office of the Prime Minister to operate efficiently, which in turn should translate into better service delivery in the supervision and coordination of Government functions.
Said the President: "These model offices reflect the new thinking in Government in providing officers with a conducive working environment which also promotes the goals of transparency and integrity."
The President added that the model office is also in line with the Government policy on changing Government offices from the traditional single closed door offices to open plan that is meant to minimize opportunities for corruption and encourage strong work ethics.
"Above all, the design is meant to encourage interaction and sharing of ideas. It is a model for future Government office buildings," President Kibaki said.
Speaking during the occasion, Prime Minister Raila Odinga echoed President Kibaki\’s sentiments that Kenyans should shun corruption and embrace patriotism in developing their country.
The Prime Minister said with prudent and disciplined utilization of public resources, the country will be able to achieve all its development goals.
On his part, Public Works Minister Chris Obure pointed out that work on the renovation of the Prime Minister\’s office was completed within the stipulated time and budget, saying that demonstrates that with proper planning and dedication a lot of development can be achieved using the available resources.