President Uhuru Kenyatta wants Kenyans to actively participate in the fight against corruption.
President Uhuru said a deeper and more personal commitment by each Kenyan will alleviate graft for good.
In a speech read on his behalf by Information, Communications and Technology (ICT) Cabinet Secretary (CS), Joe Mucheru on Monday at Unoa grounds during the International Anti-Corruption Day, the President said the high levels of awareness on corruption among Kenyans should translate into action against the vice.
“It is important that all members of the public are moved to the point where the high awareness levels we have today on corruption, translate into action against it. This means not participating in corrupt activities even where they seem small and insignificant,” he said.
President Uhuru also urged Kenyans not to shy away from reporting incidents of corruption and giving evidence in courts against suspects.
“The war on corruption require concerted effort from all stakeholders. Individual failure and inaction will be our collective failure,” he added.
The President called on Kenyans to inculcate the culture of integrity in homes, schools, churches, businesses and public sector agencies.
He said inculcating the values of honesty and integrity will act as a guiding light for the country’s future generations leading to prosperity.
“We should teach and practice the values of right and wrong, recognise and champion those who demonstrate the ideals of integrity. These individual actions will ultimately coalesce into the Kenya we want,” said the head of state.
President Uhuru reiterated that his government will not relent in the fight against corruption, noting that significant progress and achievements had been made in the anti-corruption agenda.
“The sheer number of concluded investigations, and the number of persons arraigned in court to answer to various charges of corruption and economic crime is unprecedented. These cases involve senior government officials from both the National and County Governments as well as private individuals complicit in corruption,” he added.
He noted that his government will continue to use a combination of anti-corruption arsenal to enhance transparency.
“The IFMIS, E-Citizen, I-Tax systems and Huduma programme are some of the measures that the government has initiated to enhance transparency, efficiency and accountability,” said the President.
On his part, Mucheru said the government will digitise all its operations to curb corruption.
The CS said Huduma Namba and e-procurement is part of the digitisation process aimed at enhancing transparency and accountability.
He added that the government was also willing to adopt open contracting systems in procurement for openness.
Mucheru said with open contracting, Kenyans will be able to access information on how government tenders are awarded.
“With open contracting Kenyans will be able to access information on tendering, including the directors of the companies awarded tenders,” said the CS.
Mucheru encouraged all institutions in both levels of government to embrace open contracting.
“The government is willing to partner with Makueni county in open contracting and set a role model for other counties to emulate,” he said.
The Chairperson Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC), Archbishop (Rtd) Eliud Wabukala speaking at the same event echoed the president’s sentiments and asked Kenyans to get involved in the fight against corruption.
Wabukala said institutions mandated to fight corruption cannot win the war alone and called for commitment from Kenyans.
“Every citizen irrespective of class, creed, religion or social persuasion has a civic obligation to make Kenya a better place for its next generation by being conscious of the impact of their actions,” said the EACC chair.
He disclosed that the commission had in the last fiscal year recovered corruptly acquired assets amounting to Sh 4.5 billion and prevented a possible loss of Sh 14.4 billion.
“I am happy with the strides that EACC has made, we also prosecuted 74 cases and managed to secure 51 convictions,” said Wabukala.
Governor Kivutha Kibwana also speaking at the same celebrations, called for the consolidation of all laws touching on corruption into a single law.
Kivutha likened the subsidiary laws on corruption to a horse without a rider, saying one major law and the constitution were enough to win the war on graft.
“All those laws should be put together so that we can have one major law and the constitution,” said the governor.
He also called for the full implementation of Chapter six of the constitution.
By Roselyne Kavoo