News / Africa

Kenya President Tackles Security, Corruption in National Address

Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta inspects a guard of honor as he arrives at the Parliament Building to deliver his state of the nation address in Nairobi, March 27, 2014.
Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta inspects a guard of honor as he arrives at the Parliament Building to deliver his state of the nation address in Nairobi, March 27, 2014.
Gabe Joselow
Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta has pledged to address insecurity in the country by boosting police forces and committing to operations in neighboring Somalia, following recent terrorist attacks and threats.  In a state of the nation address Thursday the president also vowed to fight corruption and waste within the government. 

Speaking at a special session of parliament, President Uhuru Kenyatta underscored his administration's focus on combating terrorism by recalling the attack on Nairobi's Westgate shopping mall in September by the Somali militant group al-Shabab.

“As we learned last year, insecurity anywhere in our region is a promise of insecurity everywhere.  If we do not help our neighbors to achieve the peace freedom and prosperity they deserve, then our own freedom and prosperity is threatened,” Kenyatta explained.

Kenyan troops have been involved in operations against al-Shabab in Somalia as part of the African Union peacekeeping force AMISOM.  Al-Shabab has vowed to continue to carry out attacks in Kenya in retaliation.

Kenyatta also said he would increase the number of police to address insecurity within the country.

In his first state of the nation address since taking office last year, President Kenyatta also acknowledged the need to clean up government. “It is a hard truth that some of our public services are rife with waste and corruption.  That waste threatens the productivity we have so painfully begun to build,” he said.

To reduce government expenditures, Kenyatta said his cabinet had agreed to take a 10 percent pay cut, while he and the deputy president will take a 20 percent cut.

Kenyans have voiced frustration with the comparatively high salaries paid to public servants in a country with a 40 percent unemployment rate.  

The president made no mention of the charges he faces at the International Criminal Court.  The court has accused both him and Deputy President William Ruto of organizing deadly ethnic violence after the 2007 presidential election.

Ruto's trial began last year.  The president's trial has been delayed as prosecutors attempt to collect more evidence.

You May Like

UN Watchdog Urges Israel to Probe Possible Gaza War Crimes

More than 2,100 Palestinians, most of them civilians, were killed in a 51-day war in Gaza, along with 67 Israeli soldiers and six civilians in Israel More

New Kenyan 'Thin SIMs' Poised to Transform African Mobile Money

Equity's new technology is approved in African nation for one-year trial, though industry leader Safaricom says thin SIMs could lead to data theft and fraud More

Solar's Future Looks Brighter

New technology and dropping prices are contributing to a surge in solar power More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
October 25, 2014 4:21 PM
Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukraine

Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.

All About America

AppleAndroid