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June 29, 2021 | President Uhuru Kenyatta flanked by members of his Cabinet when he addressed the nation from State House, Nairobi on revised COVID-19 containment measures/PSCU.

CHURCH & POLITICS

Refuse funds from questionable sources, churches told

NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 20 – President Uhuru Kenyatta has asked church leaders to safeguard the integrity of places of worship by rejecting money from questionable sources.

In remarks delivered on his behalf by Energy Cabinet Secretary Monica Juma, during the installation of the Archbishop of Nairobi Catholic Archdiocese, President Kenyatta said the church must remain on the forefront and support government efforts to fight graft.

“I call upon the church to continue breaching against corruption, impunity and other vices with even greater vigour ensuring that tainted proceeds of corruption do not fight their way to the House of God,” he said.

President Kenyatta said the church plays a pivotal role in encouraging voters to maintain peace and not join protest groups that might incite violence.

“The church has a pivotal role in preaching peace, brotherly competition that does not descend into hatred and a brand of politics that is pleasing to the eyes of God,” he said.

President Kenyatta remarks came amid criticism over the government commitment to fight graft with a section of commentators questioning his resolve to fight graft after a 21-day ultimatum he gave for the prosecution of individual involved in a COVID-related medical procurement lapsed without action.

President Kenyatta gave the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) a 21-day ultimatum on August 27 to complete a probe into the Kenya Medical Supplies Authority (KEMSA) procurement process where individuals pocketed millions of shillings in suspect medical supply deals at the height of a national crisis triggered by the pandemic.

“Following the allegations of impropriety at KEMSA, the relevant investigative agencies of our country are currently fully seized with the matter. However, given the compelling public interest in the matter, the relevant agencies should expedite their ongoing investigations and conclude the same within 21 days from the date hereof,” he said.

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“All persons found to be culpable from the ongoing investigations on COVID-19 funds should be brought to book notwithstanding their social status or political affiliations,” President Kenyatta added.

He later – On August 31 – directed the Ministry of Health to publish details of all COVID-related procurement undertaken KEMSA.

The President termed the publication of procurement information including winners of tenders as an act of transparency and an anti-corruption measure that should be adopted by all public entities.

“I also hereby direct that the Ministry of Health, within the next 30 days, must come up with a transparent, open method and mechanism through which all tenders and procurement done by KEMSA are available online,” he ordered.

President Kenyatta noted that heightened “transparency through the use of technology” would support efforts to ensure “the confidence of our people that those placed in institutions are able to manage the resources of the Kenyan taxpayer plus our development partners in an open and transparent manner.”

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