President Uhuru Kenyatta
Four Cabinet Ministers have resigned from President Uhuru Kenyatta’s government following his demand that they must quit after the Ethics, Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) placed them on the list of senior officials under investigations.
The four, Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries Cabinet Secretary Felix Koskei, Energy and Petroleum Cabinet Secretary Davis ChirChir, Transport CS Michael Kamau and Labour Cabinet Secretary Kazungu Kambi have today made history by voluntarily stepping down to pave way for investigations into corruption allegations against them.
Cabinet Ministers in the East African nation are referred to as Cabinet Secretaries.
The four bowed to pressure after calls of their resignation from different quotas came into the fore following their mention by the Ethics Anti-Corruption Commission report which was handed to President Kenyatta last week.
Their resignation came on the backdrop of mounting pressure after the Head of State on Thursday last week addressed the Nation where he said “all officers holding dockets in his government and mentioned in the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission(EACC) report should relinquish their positions.”
Speaking at his office in Kilimo house Nairobi, Agriculture CS Koskei however said that he does not know the accusations against him, adding that he is ready to cooperate with the Ethics and Anti- Corruption Commission in the investigations.
“Even as I step aside today, I maintain that I have never been involved in any of the allegations against me,” he said while announcing his resignation.
The CS said that he had not been questioned by EACC but decided to step aside after his name featured on the Anti-graft watch dog report.
“It is the role of every Kenyan to respect the rule of law and uphold the spirit of constitutionalism and as leaders we have to lead by example,” he said.
Koskei maintained that he was innocent and asked the anti graft watch dog to hasten investigations into the alleged corruption claims.
“I have said, I expect to be cleared. I am stepping aside for investigations to take place,” added Koskei . He said he will go to the anti-graft body on Monday 30th March to find out the specific allegations against him.
Koskei was heading one of the biggest Cabinet dockets in government and is known to be among intellectuals who form the Deputy President William Ruto inner circle think-tanks.
The Agriculture Minister was the first public official to resign after President Uhuru’s directive that all public officials mentioned in graft claims step aside to allow investigations.
Another Cabinet Secretary in the Energy and Petroleum Ministry Davis ChirChir followed suit and stepped down
Addressing the press this afternoon outside Nyayo House office, Davis Chirchir confirmed that he had communicated with the President to inform about his decision to stand aside after his name was mentioned and submitted to parliament.
State House spokesperson Manoah Esipisus confirmed this morning during a separate press conference that the officials who resigned were on the list.
“In a public office, one must be worthy of the trust of those who place their trust in them. Accountability and Integrity is paramount. It is therefore important for me to heed the call made by the President and to generally allay concerns by Kenya and step aside from the office”, ChirChir said.
“I have appeared before EACC before this and made my statement and I am willing and available and ready to make any clarifications if called upon”, he said adding that he is confident that he will be vindicated of all the allegations as he had said on February 20 2015 when he appealed before EACC.
However, the CS noted that with the gains he has made during his docket as the energy and petroleum CS could be overshadowed by perceptions of corruption which have currently been trending in the media.
At the same time, Cabinet Secretary for Transport Engineer Michael Kamau and Labout Cabinet Secretary have also stepped down paving way for investigations after being named in the EACC report.
They told members of the press at yet another press conference at their respective offices that they were certain that once the investigations are complete, they would be clean to serve the country in the same capacity. They also supported the president on the fight against corruption.