NAIROBI, Kenya, Dec 8 – “Let’s be focused, let’s know where we want to go, let’s stop the rhetoric and let’s see the action” – That was President Uhuru Kenyatta’s firm message as Kenya marked the International Anti Corruption Day.
President Kenyatta told government officials to prepare for what he described as hurting action which will not spare anyone.
“Let’s not say people are being picked on but it will be done and I promise you, it will be painful,” he affirmed.
The Head of State spoke when he opened the United Nations Global Compact’s 17th Anti-Corruption Working Group Meeting and International Anti-Corruption Conference at a Nairobi hotel on Tuesday.
He spoke on the day lawyer Ahmednasir Abdullahi – who is representing former Devolution Cabinet Secretary Anne Waiguru – was quoted by the Standard Newspaper accusing State House of influencing graft investigations.
The Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission is investigating several high profile cases, including the controversial Sh250 billion Eurobond which Opposition leaders claim was misappropriated.
Waiguru has on the other hand been questioned about a multi-billion shilling National Youth Service scandal.
On Tuesday, President Kenyatta focused his speech on hailing the collaboration of various agencies in the fight against graft.
“From the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission to the Director of Public Prosecutions; from the Directorate of Criminal Investigations to the Assets Recovery Agency and Financial Reporting Centre, our anti-corruption institutions have shown unprecedented unity of action without any compromise of their constitutional independence,” he said.
He explained that the institutions involved in fighting graft had made major strides noting that, “more than 350 cases are in progress and many relate to some of the highest-ranking members of government.”
He challenged the Judiciary to play its part to ensure the war on corruption is sustained and won.
“The Judiciary has committed to matching our zeal in this struggle. It is time, now, for them to live up to that commitment,” he said.
The government, together with the private sector have concluded the drafting of the Bribery Bill which is at the Attorney General’s office.
The AG says the Bill will be presented to the National Assembly for debate soon.
On the role of the private sector, the President said it has a direct stake in the success against corruption, urging them to put, “direct, unrelenting pressure to bring tax avoidance and tax evasion to an end.”