BY PSCU and MWAKERA MWAJEFA
NAROK, 1 JUNE 2019 — President Uhuru Kenyatta today issued two policy directives to remove bureaucracy that have caused a reduction in overall spending and business activity in the economy.
The first one is ordering government accounting officers to settle all pending payments that do not have audit queries on or before the end of the current Financial Year – 30th June, 2019.
The second is directing the National Treasury to secure full compliance of the directive on clearing of pending payments and also calling on the County Governments to follow suit.
President Kenyatta, who spoke at the Narok Stadium when he led the 56th Madaraka Day celebrations today (June 1), said going forward, all payments for supplies made to national and County governments be processed and made promptly and on a priority basis.
He said the directive is in line with the Government’s policy to promote the local industry and enterprise, “Buy Kenya Build Kenya”.
According to him the government is the largest consumer of goods and services in the economy and many small businesses are built to service this demand.
“Unfortunately, pending payments have negatively affected many businesses, particularly those whose bulk of capital is now locked in non-payment. This has also reduced overall spending and business activity in our economy,” he added.
Regarding the importation of goods by small and medium-size traders, the President directed the Kenya Ports Authority, Kenya Revenue Authority and Kenya Bureau of Standards to honour pre-shipment inspections done by KEBS appointed agents.
“Imported goods, therefore, should not be subjected to additional inspection at the Port of entry except for cases legitimately suspected not to conform to the set standards,” he said.
The Head of State said the directive is intended to strike a balance between enhancing the ease of doing business in Kenya on one hand and protection of the public from harmful imports.
Deputy President William Ruto said Narok County has got its share of development implemented by the Jubilee Government.
He added that was why locals had come out in their thousands to celebrate the national celebrations of Madaraka Day with the government implementing projects worth Sh10 billion at region alone.
THEFT OF PUBLIC RESOURCES
At the same time, President Kenyatta said he will not relent in the war against the theft of public resources until the country is swept clean of corruption.
He said the resources of the country can be sufficient for all generations only in the absence of theft adding that corruption and divisive politics are the biggest threats to the nation’s peace and harmony.
“The war against corruption, is a war we are undertaking with no joy, but one that will continue with no reluctance,” he said adding that he will not stop until the house we inherited from our forefathers has been swept clean.
Saying the agencies tasked with the mandate to fight graft have been given enough resources and equipped with the capacity to tackle the corruption war, Mr Kenyatta expressed total confidence in both the investigation and the prosecution agencies.
“There are three things we have to do to become a cohesive society: we have to stop corruption, we have to change our politics and reject all things that divide us,” he said.
He noted that Kenyans get angry as they struggle and then see stories in the media about the next General Election days after the previous one or corruption and abuse of office, knowing that the money stolen comes from their taxes.
The Head of State called on every Kenyan and particularly those in the media and in leadership positions, to “shine a light on what is good even as they identify what is holding us back”.
“Take time to cultivate our collective sense of national pride by giving equal prominence to the myriad of positive and uplifting stories that showcase how great a people we are,” the President advised.
He advised Kenyans to always to lift each other’s hope so that the nation can have the collective and individual strength to successfully navigate the process of transformation.