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Uhuru lying to Kenyans says CORD

27 March 2015, 16:18 William Korir

Nairobi - President Uhuru Kenyatta's calls for leaders mentioned in corruption reports to resign is a waste of time, the CORD coalition has said.

The president during his State of the Nation Address Thursday called on leaders mentioned in a graft report by the Ethics and Anti Corruption Commision EACC to step aside from office and await investigations to clear their name.

CORD though, feel that the calls by the president are a waste of time, seeing as he failed to name specific names and bodies as well as look at graft within his own office.

" The president has just made a political statement," CORD co-principal Kalonzo Musyoka said.

" The president is selectively shaming politicians while his office is the most corrupt. The president can't sit on reports and claim to offer apology. Maize importers operate from Uhuru's office, he added.

Kalonzo also accused the president of selective approach to the issue at hand.

" Why didn't the president mention IEBC, the Sky Team and tribalised appointments?. In our view, the president is engaging in hypocritical witch-hunt, he added.

The president made the announcement to huge cheers in parliament buildings Thursday afternoon during the State of the Nation Address.

He said that his government had grown tired of the continued stories of corrupt nature that had riddled his administration.

" I call on those implicated in the report to step aside and await and allow investigations on the matters go on uninterrupted, he said to claps and roars from MPs.

" Corruption is a cancer that has to be fought hard and my government is ready to fight it," he stated during his speech.

The move will mean that senior officials such as Treasury PS Davis Chirchir amongst others will have to step aside to allow EACC investigations take place.

Full CORD response to Uhuru orders

The president spoke yesterday. We attentively listened, took time to digest his speech and dig into his declarations. We beg to respond.

We wish to challenge the President from the outset to choose between playing politics with corruption and fighting it; between fighting opponents and supposed political enemies and saving his government and our country from the stifling grip of corruption. The President has to choose between business as usual, politics as usual and a radical transformation that will save our billions being lost in the bottomless pit of corruption which his administration has opened and from which close members of his inner circle dip frequently.

What the president delivered yesterday is an attempt at whitewashing corruption and a move to compromise war on corruption while purporting to be fighting the vice. We are ready to say No, and we are here to say no.

In the President’s speech, we see the clearest confirmation of what we have always suspected; that the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission is a confused and compromised institution that can no longer be trusted to fight corruption. It is instead being used to fight and fix opponents and supposed enemies of the Jubilee regime.

There are clear omissions in the President’s side, omissions we believe are deliberate, calculated and cleared from the very top level of his administration.

We have serious objections to a supposedly independent anti-corruption agency that secretly submits a list of alleged corruption suspect to the President, which the President then proceeds to table in Parliament in limited copies available only to the two speakers who are from his side of the Coalition.

Why do we oppose this? Simple. The President is himself is not above reproach or above investigation. The President is a potential client of the EACC over corruption.

The Presidency is itself a leading suspect in the massive corruption scandals muzzling the nation. Top political leaders and technocrats in the Presidency have been linked to acts of bribery and collusion to defraud the public of money, land, playgrounds, procurement indecencies, you name it.

The IEBC remains intact and does not feature in the President’s list, yet its partners in crime are in jail in London. So much is going on in the Ministry of Devolution particularly at the NYS and the Ministry of Health where tenders go to the best of friends and highest bidders, yet the president is playing favourites.

Whole institutions like PAC and Agricultur committee are being accused wholesome. Yet institutions act through individuals, culpability is personal, wrongs are committed by individual officers.

The infamous “Sky Team” that is linked to presidency and who fly all over the republic donating millions to harambees, money skimmed from inflated tenders, and whose activities have been brought to the attention of the government, are conspicuous by their absence from the list.

The president refused to utter a word on the increasing tribalisation of the nation where appointments are based on your tribe, not ability.

That is the Presidency that EACC is working secretly with; the presidency that now purports to be naming who is involved in corruption. As law abiding leaders, we know that EACC is supposed to arraign suspects in court, not report them secretly to the President, a member of the Executive who should have nothing to do with the EACC in the stipulated separation of powers.

We are talking about the same EACC that is at war with itself, where juniors have demanded the sacking of their boss, the chairman Mumo Matemu. That demand was equally delivered to the wrong person, the President who should by law keep EACC affair and whom the EACC should demonstrably be independent of. A petition of that nature ought to have been taken to Parliament.

This is the same EACC whose CEO has gone ahead to submit a list of supposedly corrupt individuals to the President, without involving the organization’s leadership, most notably the Board. As we speak a number of the governors and public officers whose names are said to be in the President’s list have never been contacted, never been interrogated by the EACC and never even been alerted that they are under investigation. One governor this morning called the regional EACC officers in his county and they confessed they never submitted his name to Nairobi and are not aware that he is under investigation.

A number of public officers, including Cabinet Secretaries and Principal Secretaries have indicated that they are staying put as they are aware the President has power to sack them formally in writing if he is convinced they have committed an offence. Elected and appointed leaders are being subjected to public lynching without being heard.

That the president condones this illegality and connivance is an indication that he is keen to politicize corruption and ready to abdicate authority to fight for corruption.

And in usual much talk and less action tradition, we have a presidency purporting to be apologizing for past crimes and offering money for sins of the past while making no attempt to return to the public what was stolen from them by past regimes, including large swathes of land all over the republic.

Instead of offering to repossess and return the land to the owners, investigate and prosecute past crimes like assassinations, historical injustices and disappearance, the president is offering to take public money to compensate victims while beneficiaries of corruptly and unjustly acquired wealth keep their loot. The President is offering apology and money while sitting on the report of the Truth, Justice and Reconciliation Commission.

This is hypocrisy at its worst. We reject it without reservations. And our message remains what we have been saying. We want the President to fight the corruption that he has agreed is pervasive. The war must begin within his own court and must bring down some of the very people who sit in counsel with him only to go out and grab public land, import maize and sugar that cripple the efforts of our farmers. The President had better be warned that he risks being perceived as a hired gun of the corruption cartels in and outside government. We know the president is acting not out of choice but as a result of political pressure. But a President ought to be presenting to the public a prosecutable case, not a collection of rumours and innuendos.

As matters stand now, we in CORD regard the sum total of the president’s speech as a hypocritical lamentation that adds to nothing and accounts for nothing.

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