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News > Kenya

Ministers Fear Dismissal As Kenyatta National Address Nears

  • President Uhuru Kenyatta is expected to address corruption in State of the Union.

    President Uhuru Kenyatta is expected to address corruption in State of the Union. | Photo: Reuters

Published 3 April 2019

The president will ask all the government personnel linked to corruption investigations to vacate office. 

Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta is expected to announce stern measures that will be implemented to combat the war on corruption during a national address Thursday.

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The pending address has fueled panic among members of the Cabinet as well as Principal secretaries, who fear being ousted from their positions.

"There is not much business going on in government because most of us and other senior government officials do not know if we will get fired tomorrow. I have already packed my things just in case I'm asked to step aside," one official, who is linked to high-profile scandals, stated.

It is widely touted that the president will ask all the government personnel who have been mentioned in corruption investigations to vacate office. 

“A lot of public funds have been lost and looted. Those who loot keep flaunting around buying houses, stashing cash in their houses and in harambee frenzy,” Senator George Khaniri said.

Director of Public Prosecutions Noordin Haji stated that almost all 21 government ministries are currently under investigation and at least five top officials have been questioned so far.

Kenya Women Parliamentary Association (Kewopa) chair, Purity Ngirici, said that Kenyatta should be direct during the State of the Nation address and fire all officials dogged by corruption.

But Kenya Human Rights Commission executive director George Kegoro is less optimistic about the head of state’s firmness.

“Kenyatta's ability to translate promises to action is low. This means the State of the Nation address is no longer important and this could be another occasion to just talk but with nothing tangible going forward,” Kegoro told the Star.

However, in 2015, Kenyatta used the State of Nation address to present the names of 200 people who had been charged with corruption and abuse of office or were under investigation.

“The fight against corruption is in top gear and the best the President can do to the nation is keeping to the path and that is to release all Cabinet Secretaries linked to corruption and corrupt practices on or before the State of the Nation address,” Member of Parliament Opondo Kaluma said.

Kenya National Commission on Human Rights vice chairman George Morara said he expects the President to give the clearest signal that action will be taken against graft suspects.

“It is time we started seeing action against all those implicated in corruption... We want to see heads roll, whether those heads belong to the president's sister, his brother or his closest political ally.”

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