President Uhuru Kenyatta at the launch of Kenya’s 2nd Africa Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) Country Review Report at State House, Nairobi. In yet another tirade before an international audience in less than a week, President Uhuru Kenyatta on Friday tore into a section of Jubilee leadership led by his Deputy President William Ruto for politicising the fight against graft and the handshake deal. A seemingly vexed President said the purge was not politically contrived, contrary to what his deputy and his allies have been claiming.He similarly vouched for his handshake deal with ODM leader Raila Odinga and urged critics to back off once and for all.Addressing delegates at State House during the launch of the second review of the county governments of Kenya and the Africa Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) report, Kenyatta said the continental process had justified his twin assault against corruption and exclusive politicking.
President Kenyatta said Raila and his support base are in “handshake” deal to stay and no amount of intimidation would shake his stance.“Where are they going? They are going nowhere… I cannot ignore such a huge chunk of people who did not vote for me. I got to work with them,” he said.Referring to corruption, he said: “It’s a stumbling block and our brothers and sisters in the continent have recognised that to be a problem. Why do we need to politicise this matter, why can’t we fix it one way or another? Let us find that formula and stop it so that we protect our resources to be able to go into areas it’s supposed to go into.”The DP and his allies have in the last few months claimed the fight against corruption was selective and politically contrived to tarnish his name ahead of 2022 succession battle. They have also claimed the handshake was a political card.But the president asked them to point out specifics of their complaints so that they can be addressed instead of haranguing “in funerals and weddings”.
He also reaffirmed his confidence in Director of Criminal Investigations (DCI) George Kinoti and Director Public Prosecutions (DPP) Noordin Haji who have borne the brunt of political machinations.“If somebody feels this action was not good, put it on the table and say why. We don’t want corruption to be used to victimise people. We want corruption fight to resolve issues and benefit 50 million Kenyans,” said President Kenyatta.He said he had no intention of politically hurting or fighting anyone. He said if Kenyans do not come together to fight the ills slowing down development, they will have themselves to blame when they are swallowed up by their own vices.“This is a challenge we have as a country and its people. We can only address it together. It is not Uhuru trying to impose something. Even our colleagues in the continent have seen what our politicisation of everything has caused us,” he said.He dismissed claims that the fight against corruption was a fruitless effort.
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In the long term, he said, the drive will pay off when people are dissuaded by strong measures against dabbling in the vice.“And to those who come against us in this matter…I don’t want to say what I have said before because it could be the only story.”The President urged political leaders to cease loitering around spreading lies.He asked them to allow the agencies to do their work.