Why President Uhuru Kenyatta had to act on graft
The strategic measures announced by President Uhuru Kenyatta to curb corruption may have been informed by the strong criticism his administration has suffered.
Apart from public uproar, envoys representing 11 European Union countries and the US recently announced that their governments would impose travel bans on officials implicated in corruption. This signalled the discontent of the international community.
Concern has been raised that the worrying official graft proportions and run-away insecurity were likely to stand in the way of President Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto’s 2017 re-election bid.
Strong accusations, mainly from the Opposition, that the Jubilee administration was doing little to combat graft appeared to have triggered the President’s stern action.
Coalition for Reform and Democracy leader Raila Odinga has been vocal in criticising the manner in which the Jubilee government has been waging the war on graft.
In one of his stinging attacks, Mr Raila warned that under Jubilee, corruption could destroy the country’s economy within Uhuru’s first term in office.
“This is a cynical betrayal of the Kenyan people and one understands why Kenya continues to slide down the Transparency International Corruption Perception Index. In 2012 Kenya scored 27 and the same in 2013. In 2014 we slid down to a score of 25, or 145 out of 175 countries, in league with a coterie of failing and failed states and outright kleptocracies,” Raila said of the Government’s methods in tackling the vice.
But apart from the Opposition, religious leaders had also voiced their concerns, challenging the Government to put in place measures that would save taxpayers from the burden of corruption.
Last month, the Kenya Catholic Conference of Bishops challenged the President to move fast and put in place measures to arrest runaway corruption. “We have one government and one President. Decisive action must be taken,” they said in a statement issued by conference Chairman Philip Anyolo.
The bishops also called for zero tolerance on corruption, claiming that State agencies set up to tackle the vice had “failed the test of integrity”. The bishops also challenged Kenyans to unite against the vice.
The President had promised to push out some officials in his office, who he accused of abetting the vice.