It won't be business as usual, Ruto's warning shot to corrupt State officers

President William Ruto is welcomed by Governors at the 8th Devolution Conference opening in Eldoret, Uasin Gishu, on Wednesday, August 16, 2023. [Peter Ochieng, Standard]

President William Ruto has issued a stern warning to governors and State officials who engage in corruption, saying it will not be business as usual.

Ruto said it was unacceptable for funds meant for public use to be misused or stolen by a few individuals at the expense of service delivery.

“It cannot be the case that we lose revenue and cannot deliver public service because a few people decided to make away with public money,” warned Ruto. 

“It is not going to happen…it is not going to be business as usual. We will do whatever it takes, whoever it is, whatever office you occupy, whatever friends you have, it will not be business as usual and I want to say that with clarity,” the president said. 

"Kenyans across the board, from the entire political divide, want us to stand on the same side against corruption. For this reason, we shall treat corruption at all levels of government as a high-priority law enforcement issue requiring an expeditious and decisive response. Regardless of position, office, or status, any person implicated in the loss of public funds must encounter the punitive consequences of their actions."

He was speaking on Wednesday, August 16, during the opening of the 8th Devolution Conference in Eldoret, Uasin Gishu County.

The conference, themed “10 Years of Devolution: The Present and The Future”, is a platform for taking stock of the achievements and challenges of devolved governance in the past decade.

The Head of State also cited poor coordination, administrative rigidities, and inefficiencies as some of the factors hindering the effective performance of devolution.

Ruto said there were capacity shortfalls that led to poor or absent implementation of policies, programmes and projects.

He urged for timely and efficient administration of the equitable allocation framework, saying delays in disbursing funds to counties had negative effects on many sectors.

“There is no excuse for this, and we simply have to do better,” he said.

He said he recognized the merit in demands for increased allocation of shareable revenue to the counties and the need to devolve power to the lowest possible unit of political organization.

The president further called for measures to enhance efficiency and effectiveness, and to ensure that every policy, programme and project met the highest standards consistently. 

“This would require introducing performance management for high quality and sustainable service delivery in the counties.”