Kenya: Senator Ephraim Maina Urges Govt to Get Tough on Graft

A Senator wants stiff action taken on leaders implicated on corruption saying the vice is killing the country.

Nyeri Senator Ephraim Maina said Kenyans are waiting for the day when political heavyweights and high executives named in scandals will be convicted.

He also called on religious leaders to "come out strongly, condemn and demand action against this vice."

In an interview with the Nation, Mr Maina said if nothing was done "Kenya cannot survive leave alone develop with magnitude of corruption that has been reported by World Bank and other bodies."

"Corruption or actual stealing is greatest threat to survival of Kenya. It must be fought in all ways," Mr Maina said.

He added that most of the challenges that Kenya is facing are due to the vice.

"I worked in founding President Mzee Kenyatta government after I finished university. The country was organised. I also worked for Moi and Kibaki government. Corruption in the country today is threatening the survival of Kenya," Mr Maina said.

The Senatorsaid due to graft "medicine is either not delivered to dispensaries or end up in private pharmacies or after delivery is moved to private facilities. That is what Kenyans are talking about."

He said 'drastic and urgent' action needs to be done to end graft.

"The country continues to bleed because of corruption. Kenya has finite resources and the more pilferage the less will be left for essential services. Immediate action needs to be taken on anybody associated with corruption and if need be the laws reviewed because graft is killing ordinary Kenyans," Mr Maina said.

He added: "When there's no drug in dispensary people die. When relief food is diverted people die.

The Senator who was elected on a Jubilee Party ticket said corruption was also hindering the war against terrorism.

"Other ills like drug trafficking are also thriving because of the vice. Most of our youth are unemployed and companies like Portland are closing shop," he said.

At the same time, former presidential candidate Peter Kenneth has called on Jubilee administration to reign on graft.

"We can't have two camps in Jubilee, one for corruption and another against the fight. Jubilee as a party should speak with one voice and act on those who want to cover up on issues affecting our country," Mr Kenneth said.

The Jubilee administration has been accused of inaction in war on graft.

The President's corruption purge in past is yet to bear fruit as some of the 170 people who were implicated during 2015 State of the Nation address were never prosecuted while others made their way back to government.

"Despite the President talking tough against corruption no serious action has been taken," Nairobi political analyst cum lawyer JM Waiganjo told the Nation.

The war on graft has however gained momentum following changes at Directorate of Criminal Investigation, Director of Public Prosecution and the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission.

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