Geingob, Kenyatta say they will catch the big fish the right way

22 Mar 2019 16:50pm
WINDHOEK, 22 MAR (NAMPA) – The presidents of Kenya and Namibia are of the view that one way to win people’s trust in their efforts to root out corruption is if senior government officials who are implicated are tried, convicted and sent to jail by competent institutions.
The two presidents – Kenya’s Uhuru Kenyatta and his Namibian equivalent Hage Geingob – said this when they responded to Nampa’s questions at State House on Friday.
They acknowledged that their credibility and seriousness in rooting out corruption in their respective jurisdictions have been questioned by the media, politicians and studies alike.
If anything for Kenyatta, he said the commitment undertaken by his administration, like that of his Namibian counterpart in the anti-graft fight, is unquestionable.
“That is why in my statement on your national day [Independence Day] yesterday, I emphasised that good governance and accountability is a must,” Kenyatta said.
He further conceded that the fight against corruption cannot be won overnight.
“But there are several cases that are now being processed through the necessary investigative agencies and are now being pursued by the persecution officers,” he pointed out.
The Kenyan president said eventually, these cases would end up in court.
“I do agree that the proof of the pudding will be if we are successful in the number of senior level convictions. And I believe strongly in the capacity of our investigating agencies and I think we have given them the necessary resources to be able to do the job,” he said.
In addition to this, the Kenyatta-led administration is committed to the complete autonomy of institutions dealing with corruption cases.
Geingob agreed and said the element of following due processes cannot be overemphasised.
The fight can also not be won by trying to please those who see their measures to curb and eradicate graft as insufficient at the expense of overlooking the due process, he said.
“It means if I say somebody is corrupt, I don’t just fire him. It’s a process. Therefore, institutions are there,” Geingob told reporters.
The processes are however slow, he acknowledged.
“If you are dealing with processes, it will be slow. You want some big fish to be caught… therefore processes, systems and institutions – the courts -must be followed so that when a person is arrested and is jailed, deprived of life so to say, it must be based on due processes,” he reiterated.
Earlier in the day, the presidents held a closed-door meeting in which they discussed how bilateral relations between their two countries could be bolstered.
Areas of interests include tourism, agriculture and education.
Kenyatta is in Namibia on a five-day official visit.
(NAMPA)
MEM/AS/EK