Mandera leaders call for action on graft as they mobilise citizens toward census

Economic Freedom Party leaders led by Chairman Isaac Abbey (right) and Secretary General Abdullahi Gessey (second right) at a press conference where they called on members of Mandera County to avail themselves for the census exercise. [George Orido, Standard]
The leaders from Economic Freedom Party (EFP) have encouraged people from the Norther Eastern Region to be present and fully participate in the forthcoming national population census.

They said the census is a crucial exercise that will provide parameters on how development programmes will be planned and implemented in the future.

Speaking after a national leaders meeting at a Nairobi hotel, the Secretary General of the EFP Abdullai Gessey said the leaders had come together to reflect and deliberate on issues closer to the hearts of the people of Kenya especially in the Northern Frontier.

“We take the Census as an important economic exercise to spurring growth with respect to resource allocation. So, we are going to mobilize our people to make sure they are available for the exercise,” he said.

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The EFP Chairman called on the national government to provide the requisite security to the vast North Eastern region especially Mandera residents so as to allow for a smooth and accurate census exercise.

“Our concern is that security must be availed to the people to allow for a flawless exercise that will bring out the true population figures from the region and other areas,” said My Abbey.

He called on the DCI and the DPP to act on reported cases of corruption in Mandera County without further delay.

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The leaders collectively wondered why after Mandera was declared the most corrupt county, no one has been arrested nor prosecuted from Mandera.

“How do you explain the fact that Mandera was declared the most County in the country by nine other that Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) yet not a single individual has been arrested there,” asked Isaac Abbey the Chairman of Economic Freedom party at a Press Conference after a meeting of top party organ at Intercontinental Hotel in Nairobi on Saturday.

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In a report released by the EACC in April, Mandera residents paid the highest bribes in the country with an average bribe of Sh35,440 followed by Kisumu with Sh26,762, while Busia had Sh18,866, Nyamira Sh10,967, Murang'a 9,297 and Nairobi at Sh8,916.

The revelation was part of the 2016/2017 corruption survey report released by the EACC Chairperson Rev Joseph Wabukala.

My Abbey reiterated that EFP supports the President fully in his war against corruption.

He added that the issue of drought and famine has ravaged the region for too long and it is time measures were taken to make the semi-arid counties agriculturally productive.

“Kenya’s massive landmass is generally arid or semi-arid. It is high time we recognized pastoralism is part of an economic lifestyle that must be supported,” he said citing Israel as an arid country but that produces so much that Kenya imports fruits and vegetables from there.

Mr Gessey called on the national Government to sit down with stakeholders form the Northern frontier and other arid lands for Marshall plan to make these areas agriculturally productive throughout the year.

He said EFP is speaking as the majority party in Mandera with over 30 MCAs in the County Assembly.

MP Abdi Mude and Major (Rtd) Hussein Abshiro called on the national Government to improve security in the region saying it is a thorn in the flesh that can be tackled with concreted efforts to include the locals in surveillance.

“The fact that some people can come and abduct foreign doctors in Mandera and take them elsewhere shows clearly the aggressors are from outside,” they said.

Hon Mude cited a recent attack and killing of a son and his father, both Police Reservists, by suspected Al Shabaab terrorists as indicator of why action must be taken immediately.

Also attending the strategic meeting was Noor Hassan Noor CAS Ministry of Sports and Culture.

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Mandera CountyCensusCorruptionEconomic Freedom PartyEFPAbdullai GesseyEACC