Corrupt MPs, Governors must resign, Uhuru insists
29 March 2015, 16:04
Nairobi - President Uhuru Kenyatta has insisted that Governors, Senators and Mps must also resign if implicated in reports detailing their involvement in corruption.
In a statement Sunday, the president through State House spokesman Manoah Esipisu said that there are no grounds for the legislators to refuse to resign from office over corruption allegations since they are elected leaders.
This follows last week's statement by the Council of Governors stating that they will not resign like Cabinet Secretaries because they are elected and not appointed.
However, Uhuru says that the constitution states that once the integrity of an elected leader is in question, he should no doubt resign.
" The President and the Deputy President have on several occasions
stated their commitment to eradicate corruption and entrench high levels
of accountability, transparency and responsibility throughout the
Government and the public sector. The war on corruption must be won, and
will be won, the statement read in part.
The president also criticized Governors for misleading the public with their malicious claims.
" 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
" The fact that governors are elected leaders does not
absolve them from accountability in accordance with the laws of the
land. Election does not, and is not intended to confer a licence to
loot. On the contrary, 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
" Moreover, Article 260 clearly describes county
governors, legislators at all levels and other elected leaders as State
Officers. Therefore, they fall squarely within the ambit of the
constitutional and statutory requirements relating to integrity. They
are also affected by the President's directive to step aside. Everyone
must recall that the President did not target any individual, or fire
anyone; he only restated the inevitable imperatives of our
constitutional dispensation and asserted well known principles of law.
We are a Nation of Laws, not the whim of individuals. For this reason,
politicians should not imagine that they can choose when to be bound by
the law, and when to follow their fancy," he added.
On calls by Governors that DP William Ruto must also step aside since he has a pending court case, the president hit back in strong fashion.
" Any claim
that one is more or less innocent or guilty because in their view
another person ought to be implicated is fraudulent and irresponsible.
Leaders of integrity should not shy away from due process under any
" Politicians have tried to evade their responsibility
with regard to integrity, accountability and transparency by
irrelevantly, improperly and cynically making reference to the ongoing
proceedings at the International Criminal Court. 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. At the time,
both candidates - now holders of the office of the President and Deputy
President - willingly subjected to the due process of law as the Court
considered their fitness in terms of Chapter 6 of the Constitution.
Political leaders are encouraged to acquaint themselves with the
decision of the court in CONSTITUTIONAL PETITION NUMBER 552 OF 2012 AS
CONSOLIDATED WITH PETITIONS NUMBERS 554 OF 2012, 573 OF 2012 AND 579 OF
2012 in the Constitutional and Human Rights Division of the High Court.
" Political leaders should feel inspired to emulate the example of
President and Deputy President in voluntarily submitting to due process.
A leader whose conscience is clear should look forward to vindicating
their innocence at any forum when necessary, he added.
So far, 21 public officials have been suspended from office for their part in a twin report detailing corruption in the public service, including four cabinet secretaries. For the latest on national news, politics, sport, entertainment and more follow us on Twitter and like our Facebook page!
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