NAIROBI: President Uhuru Kenyatta Monday led Kenyans to celebrate the 52nd anniversary of Madaraka Day, when Kenya commemorates attainment of self-rule from British colonial rule.
In his speech delivered to the nation at the Nyayo Stadium in Nairobi, Uhuru termed corruption as the foremost danger facing Kenya due to a large number of public officials who have become comfortable with laxity and corruption.
The presidents urged citizens to stand strong and oppose the vice.
“On this Madaraka Day, I call on every Kenyan, be you in the public sector or private sector, to reflect on the question of upholding the tenets of good governance. Today, I urge everyone to commit to turning over a new leaf and expel the culture of bribery, extortion, kickbacks and other conspiracies and contrivances against the public interest.” President Uhuru said.
Uhuru also promised that his government is committed to following through and holding to account all those mentioned in a recent multi-agency probe on corruption that affected senior government officials including cabinet secretaries.
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“It was the beginning. We are serious about this and we will succeed,” he reassured.
Regarding insecurity perpetrated by Al-Shabaab militants, the president acknowledged the difficulty of fighting a conventional war against the militants adding that his government is keen on taking up non-military measures to tackle the groups’ influence on the youth.
“My Government takes the matter seriously, and has already developed a major anti-radicalization programme. Very shortly, all security organs, national and county governments, civil-society groups, as well as faith based leaders, will begin to implement it,” the President said.
The President also directed that 40% of all goods and services consumed by government must be locally produced. The directive takes effect from financial year beginning July.
Also in attendance during the celebrations were South Africa’s Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa and Ugandan president Yoweri Museveni.
Ramaphosa presented his government’s apology to Kenyans following recent xenophobic attacks on Africans by some South Africans. He said Kenyans were welcome to the nation and that his country is doing what it can to enlighten her citizens on the need to uphold brotherhood.
In a figurative message, President Museveni urged Kenya not to hurt part of her citizens when dealing with Al-Shabaab. He likened the militants’ attacks to a jigger infestation that cannot be responded to by cutting the whole affected foot.