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Uhuru invites lifestyle audit on his family

By Wainaina Wambu | Published Thu, August 30th 2018 at 00:00, Updated August 29th 2018 at 23:33 GMT +3

President Uhuru Kenyatta and First Lady Margaret Kenyatta disembark upon their return from a State Visit in The United States of America at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, Nairobi. [Photo: Standard]

President Uhuru Kenyatta has reiterated that there will be no sacred cows in his war against corruption, and declared he was ready to open the door for his family's wealth to be audited.

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Mr Kenyatta said he was willing to have his relatives, stretching back to his great grandfather, probed to demonstrate that no one, irrespective of their closeness to him or the offices they held, would be spared in the ongoing war against corruption.

Family members

“We can even go back to my grandfather, great grandfather, no problem,” he said in an interview on the BBC’s Hard Talk programme.

A Forbes magazine report in 2011 put the family’s net worth at $500 million, with 500,000 acres of prime land in different parts of the country.

“I’ve always said if there is an instance where anybody can say whatever we’ve done or obtained has not been legitimate, say so, we are ready to face any court,” he said.

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The interviewer had asked how the President would wipe out corruption, considering that his family was worth $500 million, according to the 2011 Forbes magazine report.

The journalist cited the 2008 Truth Justice and Reconciliation Commission report that said his father Jomo Kenyatta appeared to have benefited “immensely from irregular allocations of land. 'By 1965 Kenyatta is reported to have used his position as President to buy numerous settler farms'.”

“The key word there is buy (the land),” replied the President.

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“Will you allow this lifestyle audit to investigate historic acquisition of wealth,” she asked.

“A 100 per cent, perfectly welcome,” answered the President.

The President ordered a lifestyle audit of public servants in June, and said the exercise would begin with him and his deputy.

My legacy

Immediately after, Kapsaret MP Oscar Sudi challenged him to include a review of Mzee Jomo Kenyatta's wealth in his audit.

Yesterday, the Head of State said the spotlight was now on the Judiciary to swiftly prosecute current cases.

“This (graft war) is something that I am committed to and I intend to leave as my legacy,” he said. “...fight against corruption and transparency to ensure that the nation’s resources are used in the best interests of the people of the republic.”

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The President said results of the audits would be made public for Kenyans to know what civil servants own.

“Going forward we will put in place measures where every public servant's assets must be declared publicly so that people can question and ask what’s legitimate and not, and if you can’t explain yourself, including myself, then I have a case to answer,” he said.

He said the focus would now be on courts for people to “realise the age of impunity is over.”

“What Kenyans are now looking forward to is that our courts of law do their part and expeditiously process those cases and convict in the shortest time possible,” he said.

Uhuru said no position would be created for opposition leader Raila Odinga following their handshake.


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