President Kenyatta releases 7,000 petty offenders

President Uhuru Kenyatta on Thursday made good his promise and released 7,000 petty offenders in what he said was a move to free up space in jail to accommodate government officials involved in high-level corruption.

Coming in the week when his government has been in the spotlight over the fight against corruption, President Kenyatta once again said his government had done all it could to crack down on graft.

The Head of State asked Chief Justice David Maraga to ensure the anti-corruption cases pending in courts are finalised and the 7,000 spaces in prison taken up by those who have looted Kenya.

“We have released these chicken and cow thieves, and the other small things. And the Chief Justice is here,” President Kenyatta said as he turned to CJ Maraga. “Now that space can be used to lock up those big people who have (stolen) public funds.”

The President was speaking during the 7th Mashujaa Day celebrations at Kenyatta Stadium in Machakos County, the first of its kind to be held outside Nairobi. However, this was the second national day to be held outside the capital after the Madaraka Day celebrations held in Nakuru in June.

Thursday’s celebrations were attended by Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka and Ford Kenya leader Moses Wetang’ula. However, Cord leader Raila Odinga did not attend because he was travelling to the UK.

The President’s anti-graft stance was the third time in as many days this week that the President was absolving himself of blame for what critics and the Opposition see as a lacklustre fight against corruption.

On Tuesday, during a charged State House summit to discuss the Jubilee administration’s scorecard in the fight against corruption, a frustrated President Kenyatta said he had done his best to punish looters.

First published by Daily Nation

30 November, 2016

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