Corruption takes centre state in Kenya election campaigns

APA-Nairobi (Kenya)

Corruption as a central theme in Kenya's election campaign could make or break one of the frontrunners going into next month's watershed vote.

From campaign speeches in Nakuru, to townhall meetings in Nairobi and Naivasha, Kenyan presidential hopefuls have left journalists taking copious notes about what they intend doing to rein in corruption should they win the election and occupy state house.

Even outgoing president Uhuru Kenyatta who is seeing through the end of his second five-year term cannot skirt the issues which has dogged his administration since taking over in 2013. 

Kenyatta has been quoted severally as saying that the country loses over 2 billion Kenyan shillings to corruption on a daily basis and his successor has a mammoth task to clean the Augean stable.

Kenyatta long estranged from his deputy William Ruto has threw his lot behind perennial election underachiever Raila Odinga 77 who is aiming for the presidency for a record 7th time.

Leading the line in diatribes against the scourge the veteran opposition leader who is a former prime minister (2008 to 2013) and his running mate Martha Karua have found themselves being goaded into talking about official graft from one rally to another. 

While in the central city of Murang'a, Odinga and Karau described corruption as Kenya's worst enemy and promised that if elected they will ''slay the monster'' and land the country's resources in ''safer and surer hands''.

Even Ruto has found talking about the subject irresistible, promising during one of his rallies that a government he leads will make transparent official business with China and other major economies.

Ruto who himself has been accused of graft with a recent poll claiming that his reputation for corruption has been suspect, claimed the scourge can make or break the image of a government depending on what was done to banish or consolidate it.

He has promised to give the judiciary Ruto and the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) a free hand to pursue corrupt practices in the administration.

Kenyans go to the polls on August 9th to elect a president, National Assembly and Senate representatives, county governors and members of county assemblies.

Four contenders have been cleared to run for the presidency, namely David Waihiga Mwaure of the Agano Party, Raila Odinga who leads the Orange Democratic Movement and a coalition of the Azimio la Umoja One Kenya Alliance, deputy president William Ruto of the United Democratic Alliance and George Wajackoyah of the Roots Party of Kenya.

The winner of the presidency must garner over 50 percent of the votes.



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