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Kenyan president vows to tackle graft, urges unity

Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta delivers a speech during the self-internal rule celebrations in Nairobi, Kenya, June 1, 2015. Kenya government on Monday holds national fete to mark 52 years of self-internal rule in capital. (Xinhua/Sun Ruibo)

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

NAIROBI -- Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta on Monday vowed to deal decisively with corruption blamed for under- development in the country and urged Kenyans to forge a united front against problems facing the country.

Speaking at the national celebrations to mark 52 years of self- rule in Nairobi, Kenyatta assured Kenyans of the government's commitment to the fight against institutional corruption, citing the recently commenced action to bring accountability to various allegations of corruption involving government officials.

"I call on every Kenyan, be you in the public sector or private sector, to reflect on the question of upholding the tenets of good governance," Kenyatta said. "I urge everyone to commit to turning over a new leaf and expel the culture of bribery, extortion, kickbacks and other conspiracies and contrivances against the public interest."

He called on institutions mandated with tackling graft to exercise prudence in their work, in order to ensure integrity.

"My government is committed to follow through and take the entire initiative through the due process. It was the beginning. We are serious about this and we will succeed," he added.

The president asked Kenyans to support the war on graft to augment the integrity-assurance and corruption prevention frameworks throughout the public service put in place by the government.

"We recently commenced very vigorous action to bring accountability to various allegations of corruption involving government officials. My government is committed to following through and taking the entire initiative through the due process," he added.

The president also told leaders to rise above the politics of division, and instead promote peace and harmony in the country. He said it was a betrayal of the ideals of freedom fighters and "a sin against nationhood" for politicians to engage in negative ethnicity and inter-communal conflict.

The president also said the government has mechanisms in place to deal with unemployment, inequality and poverty.

He said the government is taking deliberate steps to lower the cost of doing business in the country to make Kenya a more attractive investment destination so as to create more jobs for Kenyans.

He also directed all government agencies and departments to adhere to the Constitutional requirement for gender, regional and ethnic balance. Kenyatta said the government will invest more in improving security of life and property.

He said the government has raised its capitation to secondary schools from 28.7 million U.S. dollars to 328 million dollars, and for primary schools from 143.5 million dollars to 154 million dollars with the objective of making primary and secondary education truly free within the next three years.

"Indeed, from this year, parents will be freed from the burden of paying examination fees because the government will now cover this expense," he added.


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