Action, not brave talk, is the key in graft war

President Uhuru Kenyatta on Monday led a team of top officials from the government and private business in making a declaration to fight corruption.

He unveiled a raft of measures aimed at taming the hydra-headed monster and rallied the public to support the campaign, acknowledging that the challenge is multi-faceted and defies specific prescriptions.

In March, the President declared new impetus in fighting the vice during his State of the Nation address in Parliament, where he unveiled a list of top officials, among them a number of Cabinet and principal secretaries accused of corrupt dealings.

The President promised to deal decisively with corruption cases and lead the war from the front.

However, nearly eight months later, most of those mentioned adversely on the list have not been prosecuted and none of them has been convicted.

However, matters have been grave in the past few months, the most prominent being the revelations of suspect dealings at the Ministry of Devolution, which led to the weekend resignation of Cabinet Secretary Anne Waiguru.

The outcry over corruption even attracted the attention of Western countries whose diplomats in Nairobi condemned the rot in government and threatened travel sanctions against officials suspected of perpetrating graft.

A matter of serious concern has been President Kenyatta’s silence and inaction and attempts from some quarters of the establishment to vilify those pointing out the sleaze.

Therefore, it is reassuring that the President has now come out to show that the fight on corruption is still alive.

It is to be hoped that the edicts and resolutions made yesterday will help to advance the war on corruption.

The laws and institutions for dealing with corruption exist; the challenge has been the execution.

The President must undertake to rein in the corrupt to prove that his latest pronouncements are not a mere public relations exercise.