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Uhuru vows to deepen war on graft as he calls for political tolerance ahead of August elections

By Daniel Psirmoi | Published Mon, January 2nd 2017 at 00:00, Updated January 1st 2017 at 23:52 GMT +3
President Uhuru Kenyatta addresses a joint press conference at State House in Nairobi. (Photo:Boniface Okendo/Standard)

President Uhuru Kenyatta welcomed the New Year by attacking the Opposition.

The President accused the Opposition of perpetuating politics of confrontation through street protests so as to gain political relevance.

In his speech, the President called for political tolerance among Kenyans, as the country heads to the August 8 General Election.

He called on the youth not to accept to be used by politicians for for selfish interests.

He warned that the Government will not allow the country to be destroyed by a few politicians who believe in violent confrontation and provocation through street protests and mass action.

"I tell our young people not to allow themselves to be used. These people care very little about them," he said.

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CORD leader Raila Odinga last year led the Opposition troops in street demonstrations, as they pushed for the reconstitution of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries (IEBC).

The protests yielded results as the commission chairman Issack Hassan and his fellow commissioners agreed to vacate office.

However, the victory came at a cost as some demonstrators lost their lives and traders were left counting heavy losses.

"I want to let every Kenyan know that I will not allow anyone to drive our country into violence. We will fight such efforts with every legal and political tool at our disposal. We have not worked this hard as a people to be diverted to a useless and violent destination by individuals who have so little to offer," said Uhuru.

He added: "As we enter the election circle, I call on all Kenyans to be peaceful, and on all leaders to preach peace during the campaigns. The elections will be free, fair and transparent. We expect all contestants to accept the results."

The President also called on all Kenyans to unite in the fight against corruption, and warned leaders against politicising the war against the vice.

"There is no silver bullet for corruption. Efforts must be sustained and undertaken in multiple sectors and levels. Rooting out this vice will not come overnight, just as it did not rise overnight but has been with us for many years," Uhuru said.

"I have also learnt that progress is delayed when the fight against corruption is politicised and cynical lies and smears utilised for narrow political interests," he added.

He said the Government had continued to deal with emerging cases of corruption in the public service, noting that the multi-agency approach adopted by Jubilee had led to more cases against senior officials.

"I have been and remain unequivocal that we must go beyond arrests and prosecutions, to convictions," he said.

He lauded Chief Justice David Maraga for giving an assurance that rich and powerful corrupt individuals will not be allowed to abuse court processes to delay justice.

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