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Procurement officers suspended as President Kenyatta’s corruption purge heightened

In a statement issued on behalf of Government Spokesperson by Mwenda Njoka, the public officers have been directed to step aside with immediate effect and handover to their deputies/FILE

NAIROBI, Kenya, Jun 4 – All Heads of Procurement and Accounting Units in government ministries have been ordered to step aside pending a fresh vetting exercise, a move aimed to root out corruption in the government workforce.

In a statement issued by Government Spokesperson through Mwenda Njoka on Monday, the public officers have been directed to step aside with immediate effect and handover to their deputies.

“Whereas the exercise is geared towards determining suitability to continue holding public office in the public trust and promote confidence in the public service, the same will be undertaken in a fair and objective manner, exercised with due care and regard to officers’ rights as enshrined in the constitution,” read part of the statement.

They have been further instructed them to submit their personal information including that of assets and liabilities to the Office of the Head of Public Service before end of the week.

The move comes at a time President Uhuru Kenyatta has reaffirmed his position on the fight on corruption warning that the first causalities would be rogue procurement officers in the government departments.

In his Madaraka Day speech, the Head of State ordered fresh vetting for all the procurement heads of government entities in new measures to fight corruption in the fight sector.

“All Heads of Procurement and Accounts in Government Ministries, Departments, Agencies and Parastatals will undergo fresh vetting, including polygraph testing, to determine their integrity and suitability,” President Kenyatta said while instructing that the vetting exercise is concluded before the start of the 20182019 Financial Year.

Kenyatta warned that those who failed to meet the vetting standards would be suspended and later be prosecuted if found culpable to have violated procurement laws.

Kenyatta who is serving his final term in office was categorical that his government will not tolerate corrupt officials who loot public resources at the expense of the tax payer.

He emphasized that it was necessary for corrupt individuals to be dealt with firmly in all sectors for the betterment of growth in the country.

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“We must, with a sense of great urgency, destroy and eliminate corruption in our country before it fully destroys us and the future of our children,” he said at the event held at Kinoru Stadium.

It is during the celebrations where he proclaimed the introduction of lie detectors that will aid in the vetting process of the procurement officials.

On numerous occasions, Kenyatta has vowed to crack the whip on corrupt government officials saying that they will be left to carry their own cross, sentiments which have empowered the relevant government agencies that deal with graft.

The office of the Directorate of Public Prosecutions (DPP) and that of the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) have since made tremendous strides on acting on existing scandals like that of the National Youth Service by apprehending the accused individuals.

Among government officials charged in the NYS scandal are Public Service and Youth Affairs Principal Secretary Lillian Omollo and NYS Director-General Richard Ndubai both of who have stepped aside from their dockets for three months.

The officials are among 57 individuals and companies facing Sh458million shillings scandal which is part of a multi billion shillings procurement scam at the state running institution.


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