US envoy calls for tougher action to end graft in Kenya

October 30, 2016 11:06 am
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Godec one of thousands of people who participated in the Standard Chartered Nairobi Marathon on Sunday. Photo/Godec’s Twitter account.
Godec one of thousands of people who participated in the Standard Chartered Nairobi Marathon on Sunday. Photo/Godec’s Twitter account.
NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 30 – US Ambassador to Kenya Robert Godec has called for the establishment of strong mechanisms and procedures to firmly deal with perpetrators of corruption in the country.

His sentiments come in the wake of a revelation of several high level corruption scandals, the latest being the alleged misappropriation of Sh5 billion in the Ministry of Health.

“There is a lot of action that needs to be taken. Obviously, people who are guilty of corruption need to go to prison. There needs to be reforms to be put in place, procedures and practices like ethical training which help to close the door on corruption,” he said on Sunday after participating in the Standard Chartered Marathon at the Nyayo National Stadium in Nairobi.

Godec expressed the commitment of the US government in supporting Kenya in the war against corruption.

“There is a lot that needs to be done and I want to tell you that the United States, the American people, President (Barack) Obama, me personally we are with you in this fight,” he stated at a time the Ethics and Anti Corruption Commission (EACC) has moved in to the Health Ministry to probe the alleged misappropriation of massive funds, including firms owned by President Uhuru Kenyatta’s relatives and friends.

Kathleen Kihanya, a director of Sundales International Limited whose firm is listed as having received Sh41 million to service a contract, has denied allegations that her firm was awarded the tender unfairly.

Similar defences have been mounted by directors of others firms—including Estama Limited, Life Care Medics Limited among others.

Health Cabinet Secretary Dr Cleopa Mailu and his Permanent Secretary Dr Nicholas Muraguri who are under pressure to resign have called for patience to enable auditors and investigators finalise their work.

“There is a terrible situation with the Health Sector, obviously that needs to be investigated immediately and again those responsible should go to prison. Those responsible should go to prison,” Godec told NTV’s Sean Cardovilis at the Nyayo National Stadium after completing the marathon.

“I also ran against corruption in Kenya. It is time that everyone in Kenya should stand up and say enough is enough, let’s end corruption so today I ran against corruption in Kenya, “ he said.

Several roads were closed in Nairobi for the better part of Sunday to pave way for the Marathon that is mainly sponsored by the Standard Chartered Bank with the help of other corporate organizations.

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