Graft: Buck stops with Kibaki, Raila


Published on 05/02/2009

By Martin Mutua

President Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga will have to take responsibility for corruption in Government.

Justice Minister Martha Karua has put the two principals in a spot, saying they will have to shoulder the political responsibilities.

Justice and Constitutional Affairs Minister Martha Karua and Prime Minister Raila Odinga at ‘The Kenya We Want’ forum at KICC, Nairobi, Thursday. [PHOTO: TABITHA OTWORI/STANDARD]

Ms Karua said Cabinet ministers must be ready to take responsibilities for their dockets.

“If there are matters of corruption in your docket you must take political responsibility even as sacking of junior officers is going on,” she said.

She said there should be a distinction between criminal responsibility and political responsibility.

Accountability

“I am not saying that the minister takes criminal responsibility but political responsibility and the PSs should also account for their actions,” she said.

She noted that in the event a minister does not take political responsibility in such cases, the President and Prime Minister, will have to shoulder the load.

Karua was addressing the ‘Kenya We Want’ conference at KICC in Nairobi, yesterday.

The three-day conference, which was opened by President Kibaki on Tuesday and graced by Prime Minister Raila Odinga, former President Moi and Vice-President Kalonzo Musyoka ends today.

Karua said it was unfortunate some leaders were always passing the buck and were not bold enough to take the reform agenda forward.

“Whenever a minister is touched or mentioned in corruption allegations tribe comes up,” she said.

She said Kenyans must also take up responsibilities in their own small way by resisting the temptation to demand money from politicians.

“When we are campaigning and you demand money from us, where do you expect we are going to recoup that money?” she asked.

She was applauded when she said MPs were eager to watch over taxes from wananchi but when they are challenged to pay they create excuses like they are footing hospital bills for their constituents.

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