Corruption in Kenya: Government shows muscles

In Kenya, President Uhuru Kenyatta declares war on corruption.

A response to the many scandals that have erupted in the country in recent weeks, including that of the National Youth Service, or NYS, a program he himself set up in 2014 and in which nearly 90 million dollars would have been diverted.

While several suspects have been arrested, the government wants to show its commitment. The Interior Ministry announced Monday the temporary suspension of many officials who will have to prove their probity to find their position.

Uhuru Kenyatta warned: “Corrupt officials have no place in my administration.”

In his speech on Kenya’s independence commemorations last Friday, the president declared a real war against corruption, announcing that members of the public service should switch to the lie detector to prove their integrity.

On Monday, the government put its threats into action. According to a communiqué from the Ministry of the Interior, officials in charge of procurement, acquisitions and accounting in all ministries and government agencies must leave their post immediately for a forced leave of thirty days.

To return to their positions, they will have to present their assets and their balance sheet to the government.

Long accused of laxity in the face of corruption, the government of Uhuru Kenyatta shows the muscles.

But for activist Boniface Mwangi, he does not go far enough. On Twitter, the human rights defender publicly rejected and criticized it, adding that it’s a measure that affects only officials and not politicians.

It remains to be seen how far government and justice will go. Of the dozens of corruption cases revealed by the media since 2013, there have been very few convictions.

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