Hate me but the graft war goes on, says Uhuru

President Uhuru Kenyatta, DP William Ruto, ODM leader Raila Odinga and Kisii Governor James Ongwae after a visit to the Kisii Teaching and Referral Hospital. /DPPS
President Uhuru Kenyatta, DP William Ruto, ODM leader Raila Odinga and Kisii Governor James Ongwae after a visit to the Kisii Teaching and Referral Hospital. /DPPS

President Uhuru Kenyatta yesterday yet again reiterated that the war on corruption is on and thieves will go to jail.

Kenyatta said he will not be intimidated by those politicising the graft war. He was addressing leaders from Kisii and Nyamira counties at Kisii National School.

The President said his administration is working closely with the Judiciary to expedite graft cases, stating that swift justice is the only sure way to regain Kenyans’ confidence.

“I want people to hate me on other issues, but not when I am working to save the taxpayers who are greatly contributing to the economy of this country,” he said.

Present were Deputy President William Ruto, Opposition chief Raila Odinga, Governors James Ongwae (Kisii), John Nyagarama (Nyamira) and Wilbur Otichilo (Vihiga), Chief Justice David Maraga, Interior CS Fred Matiang’i, PS Susan Mochage and her Mining counterpart John Omenge.

The others were Senators Sam Ongeri (Kisii), Okong’o Omogeni (Nyamira), MPs Richard Onyonka, Jimmy Angwenyi, Richard Tong’i, Ezekiel Machogu, Alfah Miruka and Kisii Woman Representative Janet Ong’era.

The leaders presented the President with a memorandum through Ongwae, seeking state assistance to complete stalled projects.

The projects include roads, which the leaders said were funded in the financial years 2016-17 and 2017-2018. The leaders were concerned that the construction of the roads had stalled because they were not factored in the 2018-19 financial year.

They asked for the upgrading of Suneka airstrip to an airport but the Head of State declined, given the nature of the landscape.

“Discussions into putting up a bigger airport are ongoing,” Uhuru said.

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They also requested the upgrade of Ogembo, Marani and Keroka subcounty hospitals to level 5 to decongest available facilities. The President said his administration will consider funding them.

“My government prioritises healthcare services so I will consider your request to fund the facilities despite their being under the devolved units,” he said.

He told the leaders to stop politicking about the Bunyunyu dam project and instead train people on its importance.

“You cannot be calling for a compensation of people who will be affected instead of first telling them the importance of the projects. There is no logic to use over Sh3 billion in compensation and yet the project is less than the amount.”

Ruto said he had commissioned many projects in the two counties under the President’s authority, including the roads the leaders mentioned. However, some of the projects have stalled.

Raila expressed his happiness that the handshake has been adopted by many Kenyans and brought peace.

Matiang’i said he is up to the task of serving the people, adding that government projects must be completed.