President Uhuru Kenyatta on Tuesday defended his record in fighting corruption, insisting he had allowed all relevant government agencies sufficient space to deter the crime.
In a speech to an audience attending a corruption summit at State House, President Kenyatta claimed his government has done more than all previous administrations since independence in fighting graft.
“As president, if there is one issue that has frustrated me, it is this issue. And I will say why. Because the pressure is on me.
"Show me any one administration since independence that has taken action on corruption like I have done. I have removed everybody. I have done my part, at great expense also, political, by asking these guys to step aside.
“Then where do we go from there? They say, 'I am innocent'. I don’t know where they are innocent or what, move aside.
“I have taken the actions that I can take, within the Constitution. When we sit down, and I challenge all the agencies here, they say we don’t have the resources, we don’t have this and that. I challenge them here to stand up and say we have been denied the resources we need.
‘I STAND ACCUSED’
“The Judiciary, I even have no role. I challenged them and they went…. but yet I stand accused that the executive is not doing enough. Ladies and gentlemen, what do you want me to do?
“We have the Auditor-General who says Eurobond [money] had been stolen… What do you want me to do? I did not appoint you, I can’t even sack you. Corruption is just being used as a political circus.
“Do you expect me to go and set up a firing squad at Uhuru Park so that people can be happy? Are we not a country that respects the rule of law?”
“If we as Kenyans want to make progress, then we as Kenyans must do our part. The only question we should ask is, have we been given resources we need. And the answer is yes. Even in the last budget, we added you money.”
“I call for sessions on this particular issue on a regular basis.
“And those charged with investigating. Stop the blame game…do your job.
Anti-corruption chiefs had defended themselves against criticism that they have failed to end runaway graft, and then passed the buck of blame to others.
At a summit the bosses of various agencies responsible for investigating and prosecuting the corrupt blamed the Judiciary for letting suspects go even after evidence is presented against them.
From the start, the summit, the seventh in a series of conferences hosted by President Kenyatta at State House to discuss economic issues looked like a review of a report card on preventing corruption.
Attorney-General Githu Muigai, Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Keriako Tobiko, Director of Criminal Investigations Ndegwa Muhoro, Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission chief executive Halakhe Waqo and Asset Recovery Agency director Muthoni Kimani all argued they have done a wonderful job but have been frustrated by judges.
But the Judiciary passed the blame back to the DPP, arguing the cases he brings are mostly weak.
Justice Paul Kihara, the president of the Court of Appeal, told the audience it is not judges or magistrates to be blamed if suspects walk free.