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Kenyans Support President Uhuru’s Graft War

Out of 10 Kenyans, seven support President Uhuru Kenyatta’s anti-corruption fight, a poll by Tifa Research shows.

The poll released yesterday shows that 76 percent of Kenyans have confidence in the President’s efforts to curb corruption.

Director of Public Prosecutions Noordin Haji and Director of Criminal Investigations George Kinoti, also enjoy high approval indexes among Kenyans at 69 and 65 percent, respectively.

According to the poll, the Judiciary comes in fourth at 53 percent in its contribution to fight graft.

“The Judiciary is given a lukewarm approval rating and this could be driven by the long duration it takes to hear and conclude corruption cases,” the report reads.

The National Police Service is ranked lowest with a 25 percent public approval rating.

Corruption has been cited as a major problem in the country, with the Auditor General’s office indicating that the economy loses over Sh600 billion annually to the vice.

It has been perennially blamed for the poor healthcare system in the country, below par work ethics among civil servants, and a generally struggling economy.

Corruption has also subjected millions of people to poverty in the country, leaving them at the mercy of otherwise curable and manageable health conditions.

For example, last year, the loss of Sh5 billion at the health docket resulted in some of the donors withholding funding for some of the crucial health projects.

In his second term, Uhuru effected systematic changes in his administration, starting with the change of guard at the Directorate of Public Prosecutions that led to the appointment of Haji.

He also brought in Kinoti to head the DCI.

Uhuru has also remained zealous in his public pronouncements against graft, inspiring confidence in the state agencies leading the war on graft.

The President has religiously warned officials in his administration that prison awaits them if they are found culpable in engaging in financial improprieties.

His efforts appear to have impressed the public, hence the overwhelming endorsement in the Tifa polls.

The President also sought to have the anti-graft purge institutionalized so that it does not appear to target individuals.

In August, the President met with Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission bosses, led by chairman Eliud Wabukala, at State House, where he assured them of his unwavering support.

The President also formed a multi-agency team to coordinate the anti-corruption efforts.

The framework brings together the DCI, the ODPP, the EACC, and other security agencies.

The renewed anti-corruption drive has led to arrests of suspects and arraignment of senior government officials implicated in financial improprieties.

Haji and Kinoti have been the face of the renewed efforts viewed as ‘brave and daring’.

The arrest and arraignment of Deputy Chief Justice Philomena Mwilu on abuse of office and tax evasion charges were a first that inspired confidence among Kenyans.

Though Mwilu succeeded in obtaining stay orders against her prosecution, the act of having her arrested and presented before court sent a message that the state was committed in the efforts against impunity.

It also showed that not even the powerful, rich and privileged would be spared in the graft fight.

The David Maraga-led arm of government has been blamed by politicians, including Uhuru, as not doing enough in the fight against graft.

It has been accused of encouraging suspects by giving anticipatory bails against arrests, lengthy prosecutions that are ‘never-ending’, acquittals, and in some cases, handing lenient sentences and bails to convicts.

However, Maraga has defended his team, saying the Judiciary is not under the direction of anybody and that it must follow the law in processing the cases.

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