FOCUS ON AGRICULTURE

We'll nab leeches sucking blood of Kenyans - Uhuru

President directed NIS and DCI to crack all cartels holding sectors of economy hostage

In Summary

• Uhuru says he will make no covenants with evildoers nor show mercy to those who rig markets to enrich themselves.

• He promises not to soft-pedal or backpedal on the war against corruption.

President Uhuru Kenyatta at State House, Mombasa, yesterday.
GIVE NO QUARTER: President Uhuru Kenyatta at State House, Mombasa, yesterday.
Image: PSCU

Fasten your seatbelts. If you thought 2019 was rough, the crackdown on corruption will be even more even be brutal in 2020.

That's what President Uhuru Kenyatta yesterday warned in a nationwide speech from State House, Mombasa.

In the latest indication yet that the corrupt will be brought to book, the President directed the National Intelligence Service in collaboration with the Directorate of Criminal Investigations "to track down all cartels that have held hostage sectors of the economy to their benefit".

I will not turn to the right or to the left. I will not soft-pedal or backpedal. I will make no covenants with evildoers nor show mercy to those who rig our markets to enrich themselves," he said in a speech from State House, Mombasa.

I want the review to pay particular attention to cartels operating in the public systems of budgeting, procurement, regulation and the illegal rigging of markets.
President Uhuru Kenyatta

President Kenyatta, in particular, is dispatching the NIS to the agriculture sector, the backbone of the country’s economy that he said has been infiltrated by “imageless” people who benefit more than the farmers.

He described them as “leeches sucking away the blood and sweat of hardworking Kenyans".

I want the review to pay particular attention to cartels operating in the public systems of budgeting, procurement, regulation and the illegal rigging of markets,” the head of state directed.

He added, “Once this review is completed, I further direct the DCI to take necessary action, working alongside the DPP, to confront these cartels with every instrument available.”

For far too long, the President said, the cartels have robbed of Kenyan farmers their profits, pledging that their days are numbered.

This is why I am and will continue to fight corruption to ensure that the fruits of our labour fill every heart with thanksgiving. I invite all of you to continue working with me in this noble fight,” he said.

Since Uhuru assumed office for his second and final term, he has heightened the war on graft. Former Treasury CS Henry Rotich, Principal Secretaries a number of senior civil servants and heads of parastatals have been charged with corruption-related offences.

While Deputy President William Ruto has supported the war on corruption, he and his allies have taken issue with the 'selective' manner in which the DCI is carrying out the investigations.

They have criticised “witch-hunts and politicisation” of the investigations that they say only target certain individuals and communities.

But yesterday Uhuru said his war on corruption has yielded fruit that includes deterring public servants from attempting to dip their hands into public coffers.

Public officers are now reluctant to engage in corrupt practices because they are afraid. And instead of dealing with corruption after it has happened, our fight against corruption has ensured that we fight it at its source,” Uhuru said as he wound up his holidays at the Coast.

The President said no other administration has been more committed to fighting corruption and shown more results than Jubilee.

From ministers to governors, senior government officers to procurement officers, I have been on the front line. And since I respect the principle of separation of powers, I have no powers of convicting the accused. I have done my part. And I will continue to do so,” he said.

(Edited by V. Graham)