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August 21, 2018

Slay dragon of corruption or it will ruin Kenya, Raila says

ODM leader Raila Odinga gives his address during Murang'a University's graduation ceremony on Friday, August 10, 2018. COURTESY
ODM leader Raila Odinga gives his address during Murang'a University's graduation ceremony on Friday, August 10, 2018. COURTESY

Corruption must be made unprofitable to end theft of public resources, Opposition leader Raila Odinga has said.

Speaking during Murang'a Unversity graduation ceremony on Friday, Raila said he supports the ongoing purge on corrupt officials.

"We must tackle corruption which has become acceptable as a way of life. Success comes from honesty and hard work," he said.

His remarks come a day after former Nairobi governor Evans Kidero was arrested on Wednesday and taken to court over mismanagement of public funds.

Kidero denied the charges and spent a second night in police cells for failing to raise Sh2 million bail. 

Details: Kidero son arrested as father stays in cell

Also read: [VIDEO] Kidero arrested over mismanagement of funds

"When we fight this, then and only then can we say that the sacrifices our forefathers made were worth it," Raila said.

He said the graduates must stop Kenya from being defined by violence, corruption and impunity.

Every year, corruption drains billions of shillings from the state in rackets involving government officials and businesspeople - known as "tenderpreneurs" for their success in winning public contracts, he said.

"Create a more positive culture and image. We must stand together, bring everyone on board and agree that we are weaker alone but stronger together," Raila said.

He said the amount of sacrifices may not be at par with those that were made a decade or two ago, but the goal remains the same.

"The search for a perfect nation! This must never stop. We must fix our elections so that they cease being a threat to stability, the economy and lives. This country comes to a standstill every five years; We must stop this," he said.

"We are once again at that critical juncture as a country where we have to embrace the doctrine of hard work, tough decisions and sacrifices," he said.

The ODM leader said Kenyans must be encouraged to carry this spirit to take carry the country forward.

"We must be prepared afresh to take up J.F Kennedy’s doctrine that says not to ask what a country can do for us rather what we can do for our country," he said.

On July 14, DPP Noordin Haji ordered the arrest of the entire management of Kenya Power company for corruption-related offences.

In a statement dated July 13, Haji said CEO Ken Tarus and eight other managers irregularly awarded labour and transport contracts to 33 companies, which were not qualified.

More on this: DPP Haji orders arrest of Kenya Power CEO, senior managers over tenders

Earlier, the DPP said corrupt judges are hampering the anti-graft drive, undermining President Uhuru Kenyatta's attempt to restore public trust in the government, national security and the economy.

Uhuru promised to stop the rot when he came to power in 2013 but critics say he has been slow to go after top officials and there have been no high-profile convictions since then.

Read: Ojaamong, three Busia ministers freed on Sh1 million cash bail each

Related: EACC boss accuses lawyers, engineers of enabling corruption

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