NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 25 – “The ideal that the President is putting forward is the right one and now it’s up to execution, that will not be the President’s job alone, it will involve all leadership,” these are US President Barack Obama’s comments lauding President Uhuru Kenyatta’s efforts in eradicating corruption.
He noted the good will the President had in initiating the fight against graft but stated that more needed to be done so as to restore faith among Kenyans.
“I very much applaud President Kenyatta for initiating this campaign against corruption, it’s going to require the support the Kenyan people but we also want to see some visible prosecutions,” said Obama.
He also urged elected leaders at all levels to uphold integrity stating that public officers particularly elected ones have a clean bill of health.
“When people of integrity at the highest level say this is a priority we are going to stop this and are willing to hold people at the highest level accountable and not just the small time corruption that begins to change the culture. The Kenyan people should say no at all levels,” he added.
Speaking during a joint press briefing with Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta Obama said corruption needed to be neutralised as it was stifling development.
“Doing business and ordinary people just moving along in their lives here are constantly sucked by corruption at a high level and at the low level – this may be the biggest impediment to Kenya growing faster and more people having more opportunity,” he said.
Obama who is on the second of his three-day official visit to Kenya said corruption has eroded investor confidence adding that of the gains made during the Global Entrepreneurship Summit were to be realized the war on graft had to be stiffened.
“International businesses are concerned if five or ten percent of the cost of investing in Kenya goes somewhere else that has nothing to do with the project – If you have to pay bribes then you inhibit entrepreneurship,” added Obama.
He urged that all sectors and institutions come together to deal with the vice so as to eventually better the lives of Kenyans.
The ‘Son of Kogelo’ proposed that for the country to manage corruption there was need to adequately remunerate public officer s so as reduce’ greed’.
On March 26 this year, during his State of the Nation address Kenyatta handed over to Parliament a dossier from the Ethics and Ant-Corruption Commission listing individuals implicated in corruption.
He gave the anti-graft body 60 days to investigate and bring the culprits to book while at the same directing state officers implicated to step aside pending competition of investigations.
EACC Chief executive Halakhe Waqo last week while appearing before the National Assembly Justice and Legal Affairs committee stated that of 124 files submitted to the President 54 had been prosecuted while the final 44 will be forwarded to the Director of Public Prosecutions Keriako Tobiko for action in a fortnight.