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Kenya pledges to enhance fight against corruption

(photo credit: CNN)

Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta on Tuesday vowed to intensify the fight against corruption.

Kenyatta said during the New Year message to the Nation that his administration will not be deterred in the quest to eradicate graft that is responsible for stifling growth, worsening inequality and undermining national security.

"In 2019, our country's profile continued to soar through the world-beating performances of our sportspeople, improved rankings in the World Bank's ease of doing business index and our fight against corruption," Kenyatta said in a televised address to the nation on Tuesday.

He urged citizens to rally behind his clarion call for peace, unity and cohesion to enable his administration to attain a long-term development blueprint.

"This New Year, and the new decade that it begins, present our Nation with tremendous opportunities to foster unity, prosperity, positive social change and deepening of democratic gains and enhancing the rule of law," said Kenyatta.

The Kenyan leader has made the fight against corruption part of his frontline agenda as he serves his second and last term in the office.

Experts hailed Kenyatta's latest vow to revitalize the fight against a vice that is responsible for nearly 30 percent loss to Kenya's annual budget.

Gerishon Ikiara, a lecturer at the University of Nairobi's School of Diplomacy, said that corruption is a global problem not restricted to Kenya or China, and stressed that both countries could share lessons, expertise and best practices in eradicating the vice.

"Basically, we must admit that both developed and developing countries are affected by the corruption that has a negative impact on economic growth and worsens inequality," said Ikiara.

He lauded President Kenyatta for spearheading the fight against graft, adding that Kenya can draw lessons from China, whose success in the war against the vice has been profound.

"As a country, we need to draw lessons from China... We must admit that for China to reach its levels of development and phenomenal strides in poverty reduction, it is partly because of drastic measures that have been taken to fight corruption," said Ikiara.

"The current government in China has taken very drastic measures to fight graft. Kenya and other developing can learn from that example, take stern measures to fight corruption, backed by the constitution," said Ikiara.

While noting that Kenya has made some headway in the fight against corruption in arresting corruptive officials, Ikiara said that "the next step should concentrate on the recovery of stolen funds and channel them to development programs."

This article was originally published on XinHuaNet.


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