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Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta renews
pledge to fight graft and promote cohesion

NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta on Friday pledged to reactivate the fight against graft while promoting national reconciliation to enable him achieve the Big Four Agenda to transform the country.

Speaking during the Independence Day celebrations held in upper eastern Kenyan county of Meru, Kenyatta said his government will take bold steps to eradicate corruption that has rocked the public service.

"I undertake to lead the war against corruption and there is unanimity in the country that this vice must be eradicated," Kenyatta told local and foreign dignitaries attending the 55th anniversary celebrations since Kenya gained self-rule.

Kenya has lately been rocked by graft scandals at the National Youth Service that has led to loss of an estimated 90 million U.S. dollars through irregular procurement and fraud.

So far, senior officials at the youth service as well as local entrepreneurs have been arrested over their involvement in the financial scam and will be arraigned in the court next week.

Kenyatta assured Kenyans and bilateral partners that no one would be spared in the fight against corruption that has undermined service delivery and national security.

"The Director of Public Prosecutions, the Police and other institutions in the multi agency team against corruption are on the move.

"They are making decisive steps to build string cases for the prosecution of corrupt officials," said Kenyatta.

To signal his commitment to eradicate graft in central and county governments, Kenyatta announced that all procurement officers will undergo fresh vetting to determine their integrity and merit before the end of June.

"Those who shall fail the vetting exercise will be suspended," said Kenyatta adding that he will soon announce new raft of measures to eradicate the menace of graft in government.

At the same time, Kenyatta reaffirmed his commitment to unite the country after a fractious electioneering period during Independence Day celebrations attended by South African Deputy President, David Mabuza, foreign diplomats and opposition leader, Raila Odinga.

The Kenyan leader who is serving his second and final term in office pledged to reach out to his counterparts in the opposition to promote reconciliation, peace and cohesion in the country.

Kenyatta remarked he would listen to all Kenyans and commit afresh to build bridges of friendship.

He added that implementation of the Big Four Agenda is on course to hasten Kenya’s socio-economic transformation through manufacturing, affordable housing, universal healthcare and food security.


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