Raila accuses Judiciary of abetting corruption

Ford foundations President Darren Walker (left) shakes hands with Former premier Raila Odinga (right). [Edward Kiplimo/Standard]
Opposition leader Raila Odinga has accused the Judiciary of being a hindrance to the fight against corruption.

Raila claimed that the Judiciary was lenient to suspects of graft and accused it of stalling efforts to eradicate the vice.

“Corruption needs to be fought by all. We need to question the role of the Judiciary in this matter. We have witnessed cases where culprits are arrested, evidence adduced in court but the courts give lenient bail terms to the suspects,” Raila said yesterday.

Raila, who spoke during a public lecture at the University of Nairobi, said to have meaningful results in the fight against graft, courts should play their role in prosecuting and punishing the corrupt.

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Public lecture

The theme of the public lecture was ‘Bridging the Inequality Gap in East Africa’.

“Cases where suspects have been accused of murder, corruption and other serious crimes should be treated with finality. Allowing suspects to be set free and then treated as angels is being an ally of corruption,” Raila said.

He asked the Government to review the laws so that those implicated in corruption and other crimes were made to resign to give way for investigations.

“Three years ago, President Uhuru Kenyatta gave a list of shame to Parliament of public servants who were involved in corruption. All of them stepped aside. We want to see those suspects being interdicted. Not being paid full salaries or allowed back to their offices, where they will in turn interfere with evidence.”

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He said Kenya could fight inequality by improving its governance and empowering the youth.

“We should focus on giving the youth equal opportunity in education and skills acquisition from pre-school to university so that irrespective of their socio-economic backgrounds, they can realise their full potential and compete based on their qualifications,” Raila said.

He added that no Kenyan should be discriminated against based on race, gender, religion or ethnicity.

“I call upon universities to develop technology that can allow the youth wherever they are to enrol for online courses so they don’t have to be physically present in the institutions to acquire education.”

Darren Walker, the Ford Foundation president, who gave the keynote speech, called for the empowerment of the youth, civil society and citizens.

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“Kenya has a robust youth population of about 70 per cent that is below 35 years. This is astronomical. Let us harness their potential and energy because they are the hope and engine of the future of our country,” Mr Walker said.

Uneven development

He cautioned the elite against engaging in corruption and promoting uneven development, noting that this was a recipe for chaos.

“The elite in Kenya and Africa risk losing everything they own if they continue operating with impunity. We need shared prosperity otherwise those discriminated against, marginalised or left out of government priorities will one day rise against them.”

He asked civil society to be active in promoting a dignified and just society by being at the forefront of the fight against corruption and also support good governance.

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“An enlightened society can tell their government to offer them better services and be responsive to their needs. This can only happen when we have a public education system that is offered to all, including those living with disability.”

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Opposition leader Raila OdingaJudiciaryWar against Corruption