Uhuru insists governors linked to graft must step aside
NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 29 – President Uhuru Kenyatta has urged governors and other elected leaders named in the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission report to allow the due process of the law to be followed to vindicate them and cease dragging the name of Deputy President William Ruto in their arguments.
In a statement by State House Spokesman Manoah Esipisu, Kenyatta said those with a clear conscience should follow the law pointing out that with regard to the ICC case, it was not about corruption and had in fact gone through a rigorous legal process where , he and the Deputy President were eventually cleared to run in the 2013 election.
“It is imperative to recognise the stark distinctions between the ICC and corruption. The ICC cases are not about corruption. In any event, it will be recalled that claims touching on the ICC were canvassed at length before the Constitutional Court prior to the last General Election—we willingly subjected to the due process of law as the Court considered their fitness in terms of Chapter 6 of the Constitution, ” read the statement.
He urged the leaders to emulate the example he, and Ruto had gone through, even at the ICC saying leaders should not shy away from due process under especially if they know they have been falsely accused.
“A leader whose conscience is clear should look forward to vindicating their innocence at any forum when necessary,” he continued.
He was reacting to public pronouncements by the Council of Governors who accused the President of overstepping his mandate stating any governor named in the report should not step down until constitutional and statutory processes of dealing with all complaints lodged with the Ethics Anti-corruption Commission are adhered to.
“Several county governors have gone public with ill-informed, untrue and inappropriate claims regarding their accountability and obligation to submit themselves to the due process of law in regard to allegations of serious corruption directed at some of them,” said the President.
Kenyatta urged them to desist from using their election and positions to evade accountability saying this would enhance impunity.
“By virtue of being elected leaders, exercising the sovereign power of the people and having custody of large volumes of public funds, county governors must be held to the highest standard of probity – to suggest that elective office insures impunity insults the people who elected them and defiles the spirit of democracy and the rule of law,” read Presidents statement
He also took the time to remind Governors, legislators and other elected leaders that Article 260 of the Constitution classified them as State Officers and hence affected by his directive to step aside.
The article describes a State office as any of the following offices—President, Deputy President, Cabinet Secretary, Member of Parliament, Judges and Magistrates, member of a commission to which Chapter Fifteen applies, holder of an independent office to which Chapter Fifteen applies, member of a county assembly, governor or deputy governor of a county, or other member of the executive committee of a county government, Attorney-General, Director of Public Prosecutions …”among others.
The President and Deputy President assured Kenyans that they will not relent until corruption is dealt with as it was soiling the image of the country which the President was one of the fastest growing economies in the world despite it being a non mineral economy.
They urged to also fight corruption in their own way and ensuring the war against graft is won.
So far five Cabinet Secretaries and one Principal Secretary have complied with the Presidents directive.