Fearing that President Uhuru Kenyatta’s war on corruption is losing momentum, some MPs Sunday started pushing for the sacking of top government officials implicated in graft.
The MPs from Jubilee, Wiper and ODM, used two prayer meetings to express their frustrations that little, or no action, had been taken against some of the individuals under the radar of detectives.
In Nairobi, Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka led 20 MPs in a Labour Day prayer meeting at St Stephen’s Church on Jogoo Road while in Kisumu, 12 MPs voiced similar concerns at St Peter’s Kanyakwar Catholic Church.
While the MPs hit out at Deputy President William Ruto and his allies for allegedly undermining the war on graft, they also said it was wrong for the government to dilly-dally in arresting individuals implicated in the theft of public money.
Mr Musyoka warned that Kenya might be forced to go the Sudan way should the corrupt not be dealt with.
“With no high-level prosecution expeditiously taken, Kenyans might be tempted to an uprising. The time to get our orientation right is now,” he said, in reference to the revolution that toppled former President Omar Al Bashir.
Former Gatanga MP Peter Kenneth regretted that much had been said about graft but no action taken. “Anti-corruption agencies should do their work in an efficient manner. Actions need to be instant and felt,” he said.
Nominated MP Maina Kamanda insisted that war on corruption was well on course and rejected claims it was slowing down. “You have just seen people in Kiambu being arrested with so much cash money. That is the work of investigators. They are doing their job and it will soon escalate,” he said.
He said the apparent lull in the war could be a tactical retreat. “The investigators want to do a professional job. I am sure they want to avoid politics, that is why they have gone silent.”
Makadara MP George Aladwa expressed disappointment that war on graft is not being tackled with the seriousness it deserves, noting that the corrupt in the government are known.
“They are the same people against the ‘handshake’. We must name and shame the corrupt and hound them out of office,” he said.
His sentiments were backed by Alego Usonga MP Samuel Atandi, who differed with the President that the pursuit of the corrupt “will be undertaken strictly within the remits of the law — and not through vigilante justice and pitchfork protest”.
“The President does not need any more evidence. He has enough intelligence about the looting in his government. I was among the first to call on those corrupt to leave office and they must do so,” he said.
Nyeri Town MP Wambugu Ngunjiri said backed by the handshake deal, the government has no reason to back down on the war on corruption. “Let us encourage President Kenyatta to do what is right. If he has to fire the corrupt in his government we will deal with the backlash,” he said.
Igembe North MP Maoka Maore said Parliament has enough numbers to help push for action against corrupt state officials.
“Those of us who support the President, including MPs from the Opposition, should ensure that the President is not intimidated by anyone. With new leadership in all anti-graft agencies, there should be nowhere to hide stolen money,” Mr Maore said.
Cotu boss Francis Atwoli asked President Kenyatta not to be intimidated in the war against graft.
In Kisumu, MPs James Nyikal, Millie Odhiambo, Rose Nyamunga, Jacqueline Oduol, Tom Odege, Aduma Owuor, Onyango Koyoo, Opiyo Wandayi, Christine Ombaka, Jared Okello and Anthony Oluoch said they will work with all communities and urged President Kenyatta and Mr Odinga to soldier on with the war on corruption and their efforts to unite Kenyans.
They urged the President to crack down on corruption and prosecute and sack officers implicated in graft.
Of late, the bold anti-corruption campaign by the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Noordin Haji and the Director of Criminal Investigations (DCI) George Kinoti, appears to have run out of steam. Many attribute this to President Kenyatta’s failure to offer political direction during his State of the Nation address.
The campaign that heightened in April 2018 after Mr Haji’s appointment seems to have lost momentum, with constant criticism of the two agencies by politicians seeming to have had an impact.
Insiders admit, albeit privately, that the push has indeed slowed down. “We are waiting for political direction,” said a senior government officer privy to the goings on.
Since February, there have been few arrests while at least four cases of public interest under investigation remain unresolved.
They include investigations into the Ruaraka land scam, Kenya Prisons, how Amaco, an insurance firm associated with Deputy President William Ruto, got a Sh400 million deal at the Kenya Pipeline Company (KPC) without tendering and the Arror and Kimwarer dams’ scandal.
By Kennedy Kimanthi, Walter Menya, Ibrahim Oruko, and Rushdie Oudia