, NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 20 – Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Mwangi Kiunjuri, whose ministry has been riddled with various scandals affecting farmers has found himself in trouble again with President Uhuru Kenyatta.
President Kenyatta warned him that time for “jokes is over” concerning the maize and sugarcane scandals.
He gave the Cabinet Secretary two options – to look for the culprits and bring them forth for punishment or carry the cross.
“Time for jokes is over. Look for those stealing public resources, bring them we take them to jail or you will find yourself in trouble over these issues,” the President said to a thunderous applause from Kenyans who attended the Mashujaa Day celebrations at Bukhungu Stadium, Kakamega County.
The pressure is now on CS Kiunjuri, who has to crack down specifically on maize cartels that have been receiving payments instead of the farmers.
Already, the President has directed that a taskforce is constituted led by the CS and Governors Patrick Khaemba and Jackson Mandago, in a bid to find a lasting solution.
They have a month to come up with recommendations, which will help in addressing the outstanding issues, and bring to an end the untold suffering of peasant farmers.
Several people are facing different charges in court over the latest Sh1.9 billion maize scandal.
President Kenyatta vowed to sustain the war on graft until the menace blamed for the loss of billions of taxpayer’s money is contained beyond the agricultural sector.
He said those who have been stealing from Kenyans together with their accomplices must be brought to book and looted resources recovered.
“I ask you all, in the love of our great nation, to join me in fighting corruption and impunity. Shame the corrupt, and refuse to honour them. Teach your children to protect their reputation and that of their family by growing to be honest adults,” he appealed.
Among a raft of measures put in place to curb graft, he says include a plan to streamline the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission and the Directorate of Criminal Investigations.
“I want everyone in Kenya to know that no matter your standing in society, we are all equal before the law. Cases against corrupt acts are being built against persons who may have thought themselves untouchable. The ongoing prosecutions will not be limited to just senior public servants who betrayed their oaths of office, but also their accomplices in the private sector including those professionals who aid in the laundering of stolen public funds,” he asserted.
“We must accept corruption is lethal and, as such, we must do all within our power to eliminate it.”