Don’t relent on anti-graft war, urges Obama

Ex-POTUS says rooting out corruption only way to ensure universal wealth sharing

Immediate former US President Barack Obama has urged President Uhuru Kenyatta to be firm in the fight against graft within government.

He said the vice was likely to derail the tremendous growth the country has achieved in the recent decades.

“Kenya has made extraordinary strides in recent decades. I am happy that many young Kenyans now cannot do the kind of work my grandfather did or what my father did to get education. But we can do much better if our leaders are firm and weed out corruption,” he said.

Financial scandals have recently been unearthed in various ministries, with numerous suspects  arrested and prosecuted.

“We have a new Constitution but if we do not weed out corrupt individuals, then we will go back to where we came from,” he added.

He lauded the initiative between President Uhuru and opposition leader Raila Odinga to build bridges and bring people together.

“We are happy to see a President and an opposition leader who have come out to unite communities where people will stop viewing each other as enemies or rivals but rather as allies,” he said.

He urged Uhuru to ensure every Kenyan enjoys the fruits of economic growth and have a stake in the national cake.

“Kenya must create opportunities where each and every child, boy or girl has a right to education. We must make sure that economic growth reaches everyone and not just a few people at the top. It must be broadly shared across regions,” he said.

“We need to guarantee educational opportunities to everybody, not just our boys but also our girls because the nation that gives our daughters the same opportunities as our sons is more likely to succeed,” he added.

Proud sibling

Obama, who arrived in the country on Sunday, lauded his stepsister, Dr Auma Obama, for  her efforts to empower the youth through the Auma Obama Foundation, through which the Barack Obama Senior Centre was built.

“I could not be prouder of what my sister has accomplished. It makes us who we are as Obamas, or claim to be Obamas, extraordinarily proud,” he said.

Auma pledged to continue mentoring youth under the Auma Obama Foundation, popularly known as Sauti Kuu Centre.

She urged locals to strive to enhance their lives and desist from seeking handouts from politicians.

“We want to give the young people options, alternatives and a perspective through this centre so that they can improve their lives and know that they’ve done it for themselves,” she said.

Meanwhile, Sauti Kuu is set to benefit from an Internet upgrade, equipment and connectivity donation worth Sh 500,000 from Liquid Telecom. The company has already connected 24 schools in Siaya County, including Senator Obama Secondary, in a project with the Universal Service Fund (USF).

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