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President Uhuru still on track to deliver on reform agenda

UREPORT
By Joseph Ndonga | December 4th 2015

In the countdown to the 2013 General Election, Jubilee presidential flag bearer Uhuru Kenyatta campaigned on a platform of reforms, and identified corruption as one of the key challenges facing the country.

When he took the reins of power, he reiterated his commitment to the war on graft. Some of those targeted have indicated that they are planning to quit Jubilee and join CORD.

Does he have a game plan to ensure the political threats they would pose to his presidential bid in 2017 will not succeed? Of course, if I were in Uhuru’s shoes, this is the message I would share with Kenyans.

“You know Kenya has over the years suffered great damage due to the involvement of senior government officials in corruption. You used to call them untouchables but this is no longer the case under my watch. With your support, I have offered the much needed leadership and though we have not reached Canaan, we are almost there. As you are aware, the corrupt riddled personalities have realised they have no place in my Government and as such have decamped and joined the Opposition. So, with due respect, I would leave it upon you to make your wise choice.”

This would be powerful statement that would make Kenyans, particularly those supporting CORD, think twice.

CORD has all along been singing the song of zero tolerance to corruption which went a notch higher when Uhuru took the reins of power. So, if they welcome corrupt individuals to join their fold, how would they expect Kenyans to trust them with leadership?

Yes, I know the critics of Jubilee administration would disagree with me and quite a number of them are likely to brand me as a blind-folded sycophant of Uhuru.

Some critics are wondering why Uhuru has not won the war on corruption two-and-a-half years since he took the reins of power. Allow me to explain why. Corruption did not start yesterday and has existed for over 50 years since Kenya attained independence. CORD leader Raila Odinga has been leading the onslaught against Uhuru and with due respect to him, I wish to ask him this question. How come he did not tackle this problem when he served as a Cabinet minister and a prime minister in the grand coalition government?

A few days ago, Uhuru took the war a notch higher when he fired the five Cabinet secretaries and five principal secretaries who were among the 175 State officials whose names had been forwarded to him in March by the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission. Uhuru has since unveiled a new line-up of the officials who would replace them.

Once again, CORD and Amani leader Musalia Mudavadi criticised the President, and one of the issues they raised is why the President nominated politicians. According to Mudavadi, this is wrong because Kenyans will pay the cost of expensive by-elections.

So why is this now becoming an issue? How come it was not an issue when Mudavadi and Raila served in Kibaki administration? As an observer, I have read the relevant provisions of the Constitution and I can tell without fear of contradiction that the President did not break any law. However, the politicians are required to resign and vacate their elective offices once they accept the new portfolios to serve in the civil service.

Finally, allow me to state that I have read the Okoa Kenya referendum Bill and one of their key proposals is that Kenya should revert to the old system where Cabinet ministers were recruited from among MPs. If this is the case, then one would view CORD’s opposition to the new-look Cabinet as being informed by cheap politics.

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