NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 21 – Leader of the Majority Coalition in the National Assembly Aden Duale has dismissed the ultimatum issued to President Uhuru Kenyatta by a section of the civil society which has demanded that he outline his government’s plan to tackle corruption within seven days.
Duale said The Devolution Forum lobby should get its facts straight before issuing ultimatums based on unsubstantiated accusations.
“All the allegations made in connection with big projects are obviously one-sided and canvassed to suit very specific desires of interested parties. Many of these are the interests of entities out to sabotage every project that is not in their control,” Duale said.
He in turn questioned the motives of the Forum and accused them of trying to exploit the endemic problem of corruption to keep their organisations relevant.
“It is a desperate plea to their foreign sympathisers, patrons and financiers for much needed support at a time when these activists are no longer socially useful,” he accused.
Instead of issuing ultimatums, Duale said, the civil society should seek to compliment the government’s efforts.
“Without a doubt, corruption remains a serious challenge in our country. It requires interventions undertaken patriotically, in good faith and through institutional channels,” he said.
A group of civil society organisations under the banner The Devolution Forum had on Friday demanded more than rhetoric from the Head of State given the recent spate of corruption accusations.
“It’s very good to hear the Deputy President talking about corruption, we have also heard the President talking tough about fighting corruption; we are waiting for action. Eventually the talk becomes more and more hollow as it is repeated because we begin to lose confidence in it. You do not want a dog in your house that only barks and does not bite,” John Githongo of INUKA Kenya said.
His sentiments were shared by Gladwell Otieno of the Africa Centre for Open Governance who said that should the President fail to develop an action plan against corruption as he did for terrorism, they would, “begin a public mobilisation for direct citizen action.”
The civil society demands come at a time when the National Assembly has been petitioned for the removal of Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission Chairman Mumo Matemu and his vice chair Irene Keino on grounds that they have proven unequal to the task of slaying the corruption monster.