NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 27 – President Uhuru Kenyatta has reiterated that governors too must tow the integrity line.
Speaking at a stop-over in Juja after attending the 20th anniversary celebrations of the Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology on Friday, President Kenyatta said governors under investigation by the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) should step aside so as not to interfere with the process of either vindicating or damning them.
He said they should not hide behind the fact that they are elected officials and it is more for this reason that they should be held to account.
“No one is exempt. If you have been named, step aside and if you’re cleared of wrongdoing, you’ll go back to work. If not, you must face the music because even the money that goes to county governments comes from public coffers and you must realise that the office you hold wasn’t meant to benefit you and your family,” he said.
He added that county governments weren’t established to go on bench marking tours but to bring public services closer to the citizen.
“Even those countries you’re constantly loitering in don’t want you there,” he said.
President Kenyatta’s sentiments were shared by Leader of the Majority Aden Duale who said that election did not shield governors from accountability to those who put them in office.
He also termed as “lucky,” those in the Executive who President Kenyatta suspended for 60 days so as to allow the EACC investigate them without interference.
“I told a number of them last night that you’re lucky because the President gave you 60 days to step aside. He had the choice to sack you,” Duale said in his JKUAT address.
The 12 governors whose names President Kenyatta handed over to Parliament on Thursday as part of a list of public officials under investigations by the EACC for corruption and who he called upon to step aside to allow for said investigations include: Nairobi Governor Evans Kidero, Alfred Mutua (Machakos), Ali Hassan Joho (Mombasa), Peter Munya (Meru), Cyprian Awiti (Homa Bay) , Isaac Ruto (Bomet), Ukur Yattani (Marsabit), Godana Doyo ( Isiolo) and Amason Kingi (Kilifi).
But the governors didn’t take President Kenyatta’s outing of them kindly with a section of them accusing him of using the fight against corruption to play politics.
“Really, I think it is very unfair to attempt to drag people’s names into the Anti-Corruption saga, try to soil everybody’s name. The government has muscle, it has capacity to investigate and also capacity to take people to court. If there were any other investigations required in this matter, I think the Deputy President would lead the way by stepping aside and then everyone else would follow,” Munya said in response on Friday.