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Uhuru orders fresh vetting of govt procurement officers

President Uhuru Kenyatta. FILE PHOTO | NMG
President Uhuru Kenyatta. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

President Uhuru Kenyatta has stepped up his fight against corruption by ordering the fresh vetting of all government procurement officers by June 30.

The officials also take polygraph tests and those who do not pass will be sent home.

The move comes as a push to get rid of corrupt individuals in government, in the wake of corruption scandals including at the National Cereals and Produce Board, the National Youth Service and Kenya Power.

The head of State Friday vowed to ensure corruption is fought and defeated just "as colonialism was defeated" urgently.

“We must, with a sense of great urgency, destroy and eliminate corruption in our country before it fully destroys us and the future of our children.

"The war against corruption must be fought and won by all of us, particularly that which compromises public service.”
Mr Kenyatta emphasised that the buck stops with the entire senior team in charge of investigations and prosecutions saying they were new and properly resourced.

'Know their mandate'

“They know their mandate and mission; they know what Kenyans expect of them,” he said.

He, however, said the prosecution, police and other institutions fighting the vice would only succeed if the Judiciary prevents "frivolous and obstructive use of the court system to avoid responsibility”, he said.

The president pledged to transform the government into an instrument of public service and urged Kenyans to take responsibility in the fight against corruption.

He lamented that some leaders mandated to manage and safeguard public interest had turned into predators denying Kenyans critical public services.

Mr Kenyatta urged all Kenyans to confront corrupt leaders just like the founding fathers resolved to join hands in the fight against colonialism.

“I have resolved to lead this nation in getting rid of corruption and division, the main challenges we face today, just like colonialism was then.

"I appeal to all Kenyans to join me in the war that we have started, to vanquish corruption,” the president said.

Moral decay

While citing the moral decay that has engulfed the country, the president lamented that the crooks were being treated as heroes.

“We must all seize the moment and play our individual role for our country to overcome this evil.

"We know of teachers who impregnate students. Preachers who swindle their flocks. Lawyers who defraud clients. Architects building houses using shortcuts leading to collapse of such buildings. Doctors giving false diagnoses to increase their fees. Pharmacies selling fake medicine.

"Unfortunately, these crooks have become heroes. Too often, some of the worst rogues are welcomed back home like conquering celebrities.” He emphasised.

The head of State said there was need for leaders, parents, corporates and individual citizens, to play their role in the fight against corruption.

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