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Citizen Weekly

Thursday, 26 March 2015

UHURU ORDERS CORRUPT OFFICIALS TO STEP ASIDE

President Uhuru Kenyatta has ordered officials implicated in corruption to leave office until investigations into the suspect transactions are completed.
In his second State of the Nation address since taking power in April 2013, President Kenyatta declared that all officials in national and county governments, legislature and the judiciary that have been adversely mentioned in the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC), must step aside pending investigations.
“Let me reiterate that it is not my place to determine the guilt or otherwise of any of the people mentioned in the said report or any other. However, the time has come to send a strong signal to the country that my administration will accept nothing less than the highest standard of integrity from those that hold high office,” said President Kenyatta.
He noted that the war on corruption will not be won unless all arms and levels of government play their role and uphold the highest levels of integrity and act decisively against any perpetrator of corruption.
The president issued a surprise apology to Kenyans on behalf of his government and previous governments in regards to historical injustices such as land grabbing, massacres, victims of 2007/2008 post-election violence, political assassinations and detentions of those who were agitating for more democratic space, as a means of moving the country forward.
“I seek your forgiveness and may God give us the grace to draw on the lessons of this history to unite as a people and, together, to embrace our future as one people and one nation,” he said.
On the region, the president noted that regional economic integration is progressing well and while the chair of the East African Community (EAC) last year, integration deepened and partner states concluded a range of instruments to enhance close economic, political and infrastructural development ties.
He observed that the biggest success has been the initiation and implementation of the Single Customs Territory to facilitate cross-border trade within the region. As a result, it now takes three days for goods to transit from Mombasa to Kampala, and four days to Kigali, down from 18 days and 20 days respectively.
Another key achievement is the elimination of work permits’ fees; the launching of the single tourist visa; travel by identity card; one-stop-border posts; establishing the one area network and thereby reducing cost of cross-border communication in East Africa.
“These measures strengthen the stability, resilience and economic opportunities in our region,” he said.
The president listed a number economic achievements under his government which include; containing inflation at single digits, capping the prices of basic goods for Kenyans, falling interest rates, more access to credit by Kenyan businesses, and that the exchange rate is stable and the public debt sustainable.
This, he said, reflects his administration’s sound fiscal and monetary management.
Despite the successes, the president noted that terrorism and transnational crimes continue to be a major threat to Kenya’s security. He noted that even though the African Union Mission in Somalia (Amisom) continues to dismantle the capability of Al Shabaab, the terrorist group still poses a significant threat to Kenya, especially in light of the long porous border with Somalia.
“We are also faced with a sharp growth of radicalisation and violent extremism, threats associated with youth that have returned from Somalia. Other international crimes that threaten us include poaching, human trafficking, drug and narcotic trafficking, and cybercrime,” he said.