Kenya president calls on citizens to arrest corrupt officials

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Kenya President Uhuru Kenyatta has urged the country’s citizens to arrest those suspected of corruption.

Kenyatta, whose regime has been labelled by critics as the most corrupt since Kenya gained independence from Britain in 1963, is calling on young people to make citizen’s arrests of those believed to be involved in corrupt activities at all levels.

Kenyatta calls for citizen’s arrests

Speaking in the western Kenya town of Kisii during festivities to mark International Youth Day, President Kenyatta told young people they should not be afraid to arrest powerful people and take them to police if there is reason to suspect their involvement in corruption.

“The power is in your hands to end this vice in this country,” he said.

The president has been widely criticised for failing to deal with endemic corruption in the country and his latest remarks have been met with scepticism also. Kenya’s police force is notoriously corrupt and the prospect of citizens dragging wealthy, powerful figures to police stations appears futile.

Very few people are ever prosecuted for corruption in Kenya and cases are generally pursued or dropped based on who can pay the largest bribes demanded by authorities.

While there has been an uptake in arrests related to corruption in recent months, this is nothing new. Following the 2015 corruption scandal over millions of dollars worth of missing funds meant for the national Youth Service, 23 out of 26 people charged with corruption were acquitted.

Now, 57 officials from the same department allegedly involved in the theft of millions have been arrested but authorities are yet to prove they are capable of convicting officials involved in cases of corruption.

Featured image: “2015_06_21-23_PRE_GES_SUMMIT_EXPO_KICC_JPEG_RESIZED_0084” flickr photo by Ministry of East African Affairs, Commerce & Touri https://flickr.com/photos/meaact/19953637561 shared into the public domain using (PDM)

About Aaron Brooks

Aaron Brooks is a UK journalist who wants to cut out the international agendas in news. Spending his early years in both England and Northern Ireland he saw the difference between reality and media coverage at an early age. After graduating from the University of Chester with a BA in journalism, his travels revealed just how large the gap between news and the real world can be. As Editor-in-Chief at East Africa Monitor, it’s his job to provide a balanced view of what’s going on in the region for English-speaking audiences.