Ruto defends meeting with CJ, vows to eradicate graft

President William Ruto has come out to defend the meeting with Chief Justice Martha Koome at State House, Nairobi.

Ruto said the meeting was meant to rally the entire government to a united front in the fight against corruption, and state capture, where cartels and incompetent public officials have colluded to steal from Kenyans.

Speaking in Gilgil, Nakuru county, on Tuesday, during the official opening of the Gilgil Technical and Vocational College, the President said it was important to rally all the arms of government- Executive, Judiciary and Legislature in fighting the vices.

“The meeting yesterday (Monday) was because, as the government, the entire three arms of government, we agreed that corruption has forced us as a country to lag in terms of development and transformation of the country. Vested interestS and state capture, have used the court and other organs of government to slow us. We have to find a way out,” he said.

“All the arms of the government have a role to play in this fight.  I have given additional funds to the Judiciary to employ more judges in the anti-corruption division. Expeditious handling of cases is key in the fight against corruption,” Ruto said.

“There are cases that have taken 30 years in court, like the Anglo-Leasing case that was concluded recently. We want to end such,” he added.

The Head of State revealed that in the meeting, they agreed to unite in the fight against corruption and urged Kenyans to join them.

“A whole of government summit we convened on Monday was to find a way to deal firmly and decisively with corruption. This time around we will root out corruption in Kenya,” he said. 

“I want to assure every Kenyan that I urge all leaders, including the civil society and the opposition, to join us in this fight. I want to promise the people of Kenya that I am ready to lead the charge and end corruption.” he added.

Ruto invited the opposition to give their ideas on how the country can deal with corruption.

“I invite the legislature, both in government and the opposition, to propose legislation that might help in the fight against corruption,” he said.

But Azimio Raila Odinga criticized CJ Koome for attending the meeting at State House, terming it irresponsible.

He said if Ruto and Koome had to meet to discuss the recent fallout between the judiciary and the Executive, then this should have happened in a neutral place.

However, Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua said the president has every right to meet everyone, including members of the Judiciary, to discuss issues of national importance.

“The president has a right to meet anyone to discuss issues of national importance. The meeting of the Executive, Judiciary and Legislature was important,” he said.

Gachugua said after the State House meeting, the president should move fast and form State Capture Commission of Inquiry to probe claims of abuse of power by top officers in the past regime.

National Assembly Majority Leader Kimani Ichung’wah said the proposed legislation that would be moved as a private members’ Bill was ready.

"For the House leader, the probe would help unearth how “state capture” was used in manipulating tenders, advancing the interest of private businesses,” he said

“Those opposed to the meeting between the three arms of government were beneficiaries of graft and state capture. We are now moving to the next step of instating the commission,” Ichung’wah added.

The event hosted by Gilgil MP Martha Wangare was attended by Education Cabinet Secretary Ezekiel Machogu, Nakuru Governor Susan Kihika, Woman Representative Liza Chelule, and a host of Kenya Kwanza MPs.

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