All heads of procurement and accounts in government will undergo fresh vetting, including polygraph tests, to determine their integrity and suitability, President Uhuru Kenyatta has declared. Uhuru said the move is part of the raft of measures he intends to implement to tackle corruption.
“Those who shall fail the vetting will stand suspended. I expect this exercise to be concluded before the start of the new financial year (2018/19). You will hear of other tougher actions in the days to come,” he said.
The President made the announcement at Kinoru Stadium in Meru on Friday where he led the nation in marking the 55th Madaraka Day.
“As we celebrate the good that has been achieved over the decades, we know there are areas which we have not done well. We must be truthful to ourselves and admit a few of us have failed their motherland,” he said.
He said some of those entrusted with running and managing public institutions, resources and safeguarding public interest have turned predators. He said Kenyans have been denied critical public services and development as a result, a situation that will no longer be tolerated.
“Today, I want to address myself to these enemies who must be boldly confronted by all Kenyans of goodwill in the same manner our forefathers resolved to join hands in the fight against colonialism,” he said, adding that he has resolved to personally lead the war on corruption and division – which he termed as the main challenges facing the country today.
He appealed to all Kenyans to join him in the war he has started to vanquish corruption. “While the challenge may look huge because of the way corruption has become entrenched in some of our people today, we have to declare in unison that corruption in all its forms will be diminished from our country. Like colonialism was defeated, so will we defeat corruption,” he said.
He emphasised that Kenyans must – with a sense of great urgency – join hands to destroy corruption in all its forms before it destroys the country and the future of Kenyan children.
As a step towards ensuring success in curbing graft, Uhuru said almost the entire senior team in charge of probe and prosecutions is new, have been properly resourced, know their mandate and mission, and they know what Kenyans expect of them.
“The DPP, police, and other institutions in the multi-agency team against corruption are on the move. They are making decisive steps to build strong cases for the prosecution of corrupt officials,” he said.
However, he said the work of the multi-agency team against corruption will bear fruit if the Judiciary ensures the court system does not turn into escape routes for the corrupt.
“I welcome the assurance of the Judiciary’s leadership they are with the rest of government, and all Kenyans, in this war for our integrity as a country,” he said, warning State officials, particularly those directly implicated in graft, that they go to jail.
Deputy President William Ruto, former Premier Raila Odinga, South Africa’s Deputy President David Mabuza, Meru Governor Kiraitu Murungi, senior State officials and members of the diplomatic corps joined thousands of Kenyans at the event held in Meru for the first time. -DORCAS MBATIA and PSCU