STATEMENT BY STATE HOUSE SPOKESPERSON ON VARIOUS MISTAKEN CLAIMS MADE BY POLITICAL LEADERS ON THE WAR ON CORRUPTION
1. The President and the Deputy President have on several occasions stated their commitment to eradicate corruption and entrench high levels of accountability, transparency and responsibility throughout the Government and the public sector. The war on corruption must be won, and will be won.
2. Several county governors have gone public with ill-informed, untrue and inappropriate claims regarding their accountability and obligation to submit themselves to the due process of law in regard to allegations of serious corruption directed at some of them.
3. The fact that governors are elected leaders does not absolve them from accountability in accordance with the laws of the land. Election does not, and is not intended to confer a licence to loot. On the contrary, by virtue of being elected leaders, exercising the sovereign power of the people and having custody of large volumes of public funds, county governors must be held to the highest standard of probity. To suggest that elective office insures impunity insults the people who elected them and defiles the spirit of democracy and the rule of law.
4. Moreover, Article 260 clearly describes county governors, legislators at all levels and other elected leaders as State Officers. Therefore, they fall squarely within the ambit of the constitutional and statutory requirements relating to integrity. They are also affected by the President’s directive to step aside. Everyone must recall that the President did not target any individual, or fire anyone; he only restated the inevitable imperatives of our constitutional dispensation and asserted well known principles of law. We are a Nation of Laws, not the whim of individuals. For this reason, politicians should not imagine that they can choose when to be bound by the law, and when to follow their fancy.
5. Similarly, any claim that one is more or less innocent or guilty because in their view another person ought to be implicated is fraudulent and irresponsible. Leaders of integrity should not shy away from due process under any pretext.
6. Politicians have tried to evade their responsibility with regard to integrity, accountability and transparency by irrelevantly, improperly and cynically making reference to the ongoing proceedings at the International Criminal Court. It is imperative to recognise the stark distinctions between the ICC and corruption. The ICC cases are not about corruption. In any event, it will be recalled that claims touching on the ICC were canvassed at length before the Constitutional Court prior to the last General Election. At the time, both candidates – now holders of the office of the President and Deputy President – willingly subjected to the due process of law as the Court considered their fitness in terms of Chapter 6 of the Constitution. Political leaders are encouraged to acquaint themselves with the decision of the court in CONSTITUTIONAL PETITION NUMBER 552 OF 2012 AS CONSOLIDATED WITH PETITIONS NUMBERS 554 OF 2012, 573 OF 2012 AND 579 OF 2012 in the Constitutional and Human Rights Division of the High Court.
7. Political leaders should feel inspired to emulate the example of President and Deputy President in voluntarily submitting to due process. A leader whose conscience is clear should look forward to vindicating their innocence at any forum when necessary.
8. The President and Deputy President assure all Kenyans that the war on corruption is off to a serious start, and that they shall not flinch until it is won. They have called on all Kenyans to maintain their support for this crusade to reclaim the soul of our Nation. Leaders must demonstrate their commitment by supporting the war or submitting themselves to due process at all times when required.
State House Spokesperson
29th March, 2015