‘Frus­trated’ Uhuru un­der fire for ad­mit­ting graft failure

What then is the mes­sage to or­di­nary Kenyans? That they should learn to live with cor­rup­tion, which takes away their liveli­hoods? Musalia Mu­davadi asks

The Star (Kenya) - - News - FELIX OLICK @olick­fe­lix

Op­po­si­tion chiefs have blasted Pres­i­dent Uhuru Keny­atta for pub­licly ad­mit­ting he has hit a brick wall in the war on graft and asked him to re­sign.

Some Cord lead­ers have crit­i­cised Uhuru’s riot act to Au­di­tor Gen­eral Ed­ward Ouko for al­legedly ex­pos­ing the loot­ing of govern­ment cof­fers, terming the re­marks “un­civil and in ex­treme bad taste”.

Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka told the Star that Uhuru’s Tues­day ad­mis­sion of help­less­ness was a call on vot­ers to kick out Ju­bilee in 2017.

“He has thrown his arms in the air and that is why we are say­ing Ju­bilee is in­ca­pable of fight­ing cor­rup­tion,” he said.

Ad­dress­ing a Gov­er­nance and Ac­count­abil­ity Sum­mit at State House, Uhuru said he had done all within his pow­ers to tame run­away graft and kept ask­ing the au­di­ence, “What do you want me to do?”

And the Pres­i­dent ad­mit­ted on live tele­vi­sion that he was “frus­trated”.

“Do you want me to go and get a fir­ing squad at Uhuru Park so that peo­ple can be happy?” an ag­i­tated Uhuru asked, blam­ing the ju­di­ciary and other anti-graft agen­cies for stalling the war on cor­rup­tion.

Amani Na­tional Congress leader Musalia Mu­davadi was the first to hit at Uhuru and said the Pres­i­dent’s re- marks amounted to a sur­ren­der to cor­rup­tion car­tels.

“This is not the kind of re­sponse ex­pected of a Pres­i­dent de­ter­mined to root out cor­rup­tion,” he said.

“The pos­ture of help­less­ness doesn’t in­spire the war on cor­rup­tion. What then is the mes­sage to or­di­nary Kenyans? That they should learn to live with cor­rup­tion, which takes away their liveli­hoods?”

Top civil so­ci­ety ac­tors and some ODM lead­ers cen­sured the Pres­i­dent for al­legedly sin­gling out Ouko.

“It was in ex­treme bad taste and most un­civil for the Pres­i­dent to sin­gle out the Au­di­tor Gen­eral for a tongue-lash­ing in public. It smacks of dic­ta­tor­ship,” ODM sec­re­tary for Political Af­fairs Opiyo Wan­dayi said. He urged the Pres­i­dent to re­sign be­fore the party con­sid­ers im­peach­ing him.

Civil So­ci­ety Ref­er­ence Group co­or­di­na­tor Suba Churchill said Uhuru’s dou­ble­s­peak on graft be­came ap­par­ent when he took on Ouko who “con­tin­u­ously does a com­mend­able job”.

“In­stead of fo­cus­ing on the fail­ings of the EACC, which is used to pro­tect cer­tain in­di­vid­u­als that are re­garded as sa­cred cows, or fo­cus­ing on the DPP, which again has largely failed, he [Uhuru] fo­cused on the Au­di­tor Gen­eral,” he said.

Though he blasted Ouko in his ad­dress, Uhuru did not spare the other agen­cies and strongly crit­i­cised the EACC, the DPP, the Direc­torate of Crim­i­nal In­ves­ti­ga­tions and the ju­di­ciary.

/PSCU /EMMANUEL WANSON

Pres­i­dent Uhuru Keny­atta ad­dresses par­tic­i­pants dur­ing the State House Sum­mit on Gov­er­nance and Ac­count­abil­ity on Oc­to­ber 18. Right, Cord leader Raila Odinga ad­dresses the press on Oc­to­ber 19

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