The combat against theft of public resources would be thorough and relentless as the government seeks to elevate Kenya into the upper middle-income country, Deputy President William Ruto has said.
He noted that every arm of the Government has to weigh in on the assault against corruption, and “every citizen must play their part” if the country is to develop.
“The fight against organised crime, mismanagement, theft and corruption is now running full steam and there are no friends, no relatives and no political sides,” said Mr Ruto.
He spoke in Nairobi during a forum with Cabinet Secretaries, Governors and development partners.
The meeting, which sought to understand the priority areas of the Big Four agenda, saw development partners pledge to align their strategies to the grand development agenda.
As part of the fight against corruption, the Deputy President noted that his office would be providing leadership on Open Government Partnership to foster transparency, accountability and promote citizen participation.
Besides anti-graft efforts, Mr Ruto said the taming of wastage and abuse of public resources was necessary for Kenya to thrive.
“The transformation of Kenya is necessary, urgent and inevitable,” Mr Ruto told the audience that included Cabinet Secretaries Henry Rotich (Treasury), James Macharia (Transport), Sicily Kariuki (Health), Monica Juma (Foreign Affairs), Mwangi Kiunjuri (Agriculture) and Eugene Wamalwa (Devolution).
Top envoys in the meeting included the Head of the EU Delegation in Kenya Stefano-Antonio Dejak, US Ambassador to Kenya Bob Godec, Swedish Ambassador to Kenya Anna Jardfelt, UN Resident Co-ordinator and United Nations Development Programme Resident Representative Siddharth Chatterjee, UNDP Country Director Amanda Serumaga, Food and Agricultural Organisation Representative in Kenya Gabriel Rugalema, among others.
The Deputy President said several reforms were ongoing to rebuild the country economically, citing the creation of a conducive business environment, infrastructure expansion and investment in quality and accessible social services.
In a joint statement from the Development Partners Group, Ms Jardfelt said Kenya’s economic take-off called for an improved policy and regulatory framework, besides expanded partnerships to create synergy.
“For effective delivery of results, resources need to be optimised so as to add value to Kenya’s development agenda,” said Ms Jardfelt.
The Development Partners, while pledging to support the government, urged the government to engage all actors in the society, and place them at the centre of its development initiatives.
In particular, they said the inclusion of the civil society, the media and private sector was critical.
On its part, the Council of Governors said counties were intensifying partnerships with the national government for the speedy realisation of the Vision 2030 and the Big Four agenda.
Vice-Chairman Anne Waiguru said they were also marrying the Big Four agenda with their 2019/2020 budget making. She said county governments had already included Kenya’s development agenda in their respective County Integrated Development Plans and annual development plans.
“However, there is need for counties to be allowed to freely forge partnerships with private sector players,” said the Kirinyaga Governor.
Mr Waiguru said counties would partner with the government to build capacity and jointly carry out regular monitoring, evaluation and tracking of performance to identify possible gaps.
Mr Rotich promised to ensure that there is a strong and stable macro-economic environment that would foster the realisation of the Big Four Agenda.
The forum was also attended by Governors Josephat Nanok (Turkana), Stephen Sang (Nandi), Lee Kinyanjui (Nakuru), Okoth Obado (Migori), Muthomi Njuki (Tharaka Nithi), Francis Kimemia (Nyandarua) and Moses Lenolkulal (Samburu).