Either serve the public or Republic-President tells legislators taking up graft cases

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President Uhuru Kenyatta during the 56th Jamhuri Day fete. Photo/PSCU
President Uhuru Kenyatta during the 56th Jamhuri Day fete. Photo/PSCU

Leaders who are serving the state, and in public offices have been urged to drop their different private disciplines and focus solely on their tasks to serve Kenyans. President Uhuru Kenyatta has criticized legislators who are quick to take up graft cases and represent clients in Courts, forgetting their sole mandate of oversight among other roles, terming it a conflict of interest. This comes after Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko’s case, where his 12-man defense team included Elgeyo Marakwet Senator Kipchumba Murkomen who is also the Senate Majority leader, Makueni Senator Mutula Kilonzo Jr and Makueni MP Daniel Maanzo. Their presence drew lots of criticism from Kenyans, who cited that the Senate’s role as an oversight body may be compromised.

Speaking during the Jamhuri Day fete at Nyayo stadium, President Kenyatta said doctors, engineers, accountants or other professionals who take up state or public offices should give up private practice and devote their full time and energy on republic duties, “No one is forced to do this work but of you do, do it in the right way,” he said. “Is it fair, is it right for legislators who have control over funds and exercise oversight over Judiciary to appear in Courts as councils?” he posed, “Is it fair on the Judicial officer hearing the case or other parties, that one party in the case is represented by a person who can literally change the law applicable to the dispute, control the career progression of the Judge or Magistrate or is able to speak with the voice of an entire arm of government?”

He said he has directed the Attorney General to submit a submission to Cabinet for approval and transmission to Parliament the Law on Conflict of Interest which has already been subjected to stakeholder consultations. He further noted that the war on corruption will continue until they weed out leaders who are using the privileges of their offices for personal gain.