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Kenya assures envoys of resolve to fight graft

Head of Public Service Joseph Kinyua (m) with  18 envoys who recently penned an opinion in the media. Photo/ COURTESY

Head of Public Service Joseph Kinyua (m) with 18 envoys who recently penned an opinion in the media. Photo/ COURTESY

NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 16 – The Government will not relent in the war against corruption and will use all means to contain the vice, the Chief of Staff and Head of Public Service, Joseph Kinyua has said.

Speaking in the Office of the President during a meeting with 18 envoys who recently penned an opinion in the media, Kinyua assured the envoys that the current administration was committed to fighting corruption through all available means.

“The current administration is committed to fighting corruption and this can be attested by commitment to empower institutions that work to check this vice. The Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission has all the goodwill especially political from the Executive to do the work they were set up to do,” said Kinyua.

He said the government had embarked on preventive approach and was seeking behaviour change. This, he explained, will be achieved through the education outreaches that Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission was engaged in, introduction of these issues in school curriculum and working with religious organisations.

The meeting was called by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Trade to get clarification from the envoys on the op-ed and to explain to them what the government was doing in the fight against corruption.

“We have called you so soon after our meeting to explain the security situation last week to clarify on the issues that appeared in the press over the weekend. We felt that whereas you have issues to address to the government on corruption, we are not sure the press was the best place and the first port of call. The doors of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs are wide open, so is the door to the Chief of Staff office,” the Principal Secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Trade Karanja Kibicho explained.

He said the current administration was open to dialogue and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Trade was ready and willing to facilitate any meeting with government officially.

At the weekend, 18 diplomats from the United States, the European Union, Britain Japan, Australia among others penned an editorial which was carried by local papers asking the Government not to relent in its war against corruption.

“At the moment when Kenya is restructuring government through devolution process, attracting investment, expanding trade, creating jobs and fighting terrorism, corruption is holding the country back. It is an unwelcome companion, and has no place in Kenya’s bright future,” read the statement in part.

In the meeting with the Chief of Staff and Head of Public Service on Wednesday the envoys explained that they were coming out to identify with the Kenya government efforts and were in no way out to criticise the government.

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In their contribution during the meeting, the envoys underscored that the op-ed was not done to criticise the Government of Kenya but to commend efforts on the corruption war as friends and development partners.

Robert Godec, United States Ambassador to Kenya said his government was fully supportive of Kenya’s Vision 2030, Millennium Development Goals among other projects and cannot possibly do anything on the contrary behind the scenes.

“The op-ed was an open letter to Kenyan people on the menace of corruption and to support the government and the President for the effort being put in place to tackle this challenge,” said Spanish ambassador to Kenya Javier Herrera Gaecia-Centurri.

On his part the British High Commissioner to Kenya Christian Turner said they were supportive of Kenya Government and the op-ed was not in any way to criticise the government but on the contrary to shove support specifically to the effort by the President and his Deputy in fighting corruption.

He noted that the Kenya had made a lot of progress in comparison to the 80s and the 90s and although there are still issues from the past that remain unresolved, it is good that there is discussion on corruption in all sectors of the society including the media and as envoys and friends of Kenya, they had decided, in good faith, to add their voice.

On the war against terror, the envoys appreciated the government for opening Kasarani and even Jomo Kenyatta International Airport to UNHCR and other humanitarian and relief agencies on what the police was doing in screening bad elements that were behind terror activities.

“On behalf of UNHCR, the Red Cross and all humanitarian agencies, I would like to thank the government for allowing access to these areas where we have been able to confirm the operation was being conducted in a humane manner,” said Nardos Bekele-Thomas, Resident Representative of the United National Development Programme and Resident Coordinator of the United Nations systems in Kenya.


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