Uhuru renews fight against corruption

President Uhuru Kenyatta delivering his State of the Nation address at Parliament on Wednesday 02/05/18. [Boniface Okendo/Standard]

President Uhuru Kenyatta expressed his frustration at the tendency for corruption suspects to use the Judiciary to block their prosecution. He urged Parliament to strengthen the legal framework to fight the scourge.

“I urge the Judiciary to do its part to ensure that orders are not frivolously used by wealthy and corrupt individuals to avoid justice. I urge you, members, to give us the legal tools we need to win the war against the lords of graft,” he said.

“To deepen good governance, we have continued to digitise key services to seal loopholes used for fraud. And I expect the new officials now in office in prosecution and investigations to bring cases against the most powerful and privileged, to show Kenyans that none of us are above the law,” he added.

The President’s first term in office was riddled with corruption scandals involving billions of shillings, among them the National Youth Service and Afya House scams as well as graft claims on how the Sh250 billion of the Eurobond was spent.

The President appeared to desire to put more effort in the fight against corruption in his second and final term as he seeks to leave a good legacy.

"Leaders at every level of Government must demonstrate a desire and commitment to serve; and in particular we must maintain the highest degree of integrity. Those days when you could enjoy public goods without fear that action might be taken against you are gone," he said.

Uhuru said his administration had managed to recover public assets worth Sh500 million. He said civil proceedings were instituted for the preservation and recovery of other assets valued at more than Sh6 billion. 

He said all Kenyans must join hands in the fight if the country was conquer the corruption dragon. He urged the private sector to report fraud and protect whistleblowers.

“Kenyans, on their part, must report any crimes they may come across. Families must feel ashamed by one of their member becoming involved in corruption; they must insist on the upholding of their name as a family,” said Uhuru.

The Head of State said the fight against corruption could only be won through a concerted effort and teaching the youth the right values.

“Teachers and parents must explicitly teach children the value of honesty and the concept of honour. It is only by coming together as a people that the values in our Constitution will take life in the governance of Kenya,” he said.