, MIGORI, Kenya, Nov 1 – Prime Minister Raila Odinga has said he will not shield anyone facing corruption charges but would support Cabinet Ministers who are delivering services to the people.
The PM said the law provides that the accused are innocent until proven guilty and asked Kenyans to allow state institutions charged with investigations do their work.
Once found to have committed an offence, the PM said, such public officials would not receive protection from any quarters in government.
"I am supporting Ministers who are performing their duties efficiently and that I will do. I have never said I will shield them from corruption charges. The President is clear on this, and I am clear on this too. We support ministers who are delivering to the people. If in the process they are found to be condoning corruption, we shall not shield them," the PM said.
"We do not want to victimise anyone or personalise the war on corruption," he added.
Mr Odinga challenged elders from all communities to be at the forefront in fostering behavioural and attitude change among Kenyans.
He asked elders to play an active role in guiding the people under the new constitutional dispensation saying elders still command respect among Kenyans.
Mr Odinga was speaking at the Sony Sugar Complex in Migori County after witnessing the installation of Willis Opiyo Otondi as the new chairman of the Luo Council Elders.
He asked the elders to reach out to their counterparts in other communities and help build reconciliation and understanding among Kenyans.
"This country is diverse. It has over 42 communities and many dialects and languages. We must create unity by retracing our roots and aspects that made us one people as Kenyans in the first place," the PM said.
Speaking about the new Constitution, the PM said some of the elders today were born before independence while some witnessed Kenya\’s brief experiment with devolved structures at independence.
He asked the elders to share their experiences with younger Kenyans and help with the implementation of the new structures.
Addressing Luo elders in particular, the PM said the group had played a significant role in educating the community about HIV/AIDS but said many issues need to be tackled to help the community move forward.
He lauded the elders for pushing for circumcision saying it would further help stem the spread of HIV/AIDS.
Mr Odinga asked elders to educate people to abandon practices like elaborate funeral and burial ceremonies that only leave the bereaved poorer.
He said elders could educate young people on the virtue of hard work and honest living as a way to stem the tide of corruption.