Fight Graft as You Promised, Church Tells Kenyan President

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The Catholic Church has urged Kenya President Uhuru Kenyatta to honour his promise to Pope Francis that he will fight corruption in the country.

The Kenyan president made his pledge to the Pope during his first visit to the country late last year. And now Nyeri Archbishop Peter Kairu has called on the president to keep his promise and tackle the East African nation’s graft crisis.

 

‘Tame the vice’

Speaking during a mass at Our Lady of Divine Providence Catholic Church in Gikondi, the archbishop recalled the promises he heard made by President Kenyatta and his government over the Pope’s three-day visit to the country.

“I can clearly recall what the government, through President Uhuru Kenyatta, promised when the Holy Father visited our country,” he said. “During the meeting with the youth at Kasarani Stadium, the Pope asked youth to resist being corrupt and also asked the Head of the State to tame the vice.”

The archbishop also called on officials who have misused public funds to return the money before seeking forgiveness.

 

High-profile cases

Corruption was the hot topic during Pope Francis’ visit to Kenya, following a string of high-profile graft cases emerging throughout last year. The National Youth Service (NYS) scandal, which saw Sh791 million (more than £7.8 million) taken from public funds, is yet to reach its conclusion as investigations continue.

The government has also been called upon to explain how the county’s Sh289 billion ($2.75 billion) Eurobond was spent. Prime Minister Raila Odinga claims that more than half that money, which Kenyatta said would put a stop government borrowing from domestic markets, has gone missing.

President Kenyatta reportedly asked the Pope to pray for him and his country’s battle against corruption. But the president, who has been accused of allowing graft to flourish, has been urged to demonstrate his willingness by the church.

 

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