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

Karzai's Legacy: Missed Opportunities?

Afghanistan's president leaves behind a much different nation than the one he inherited, yet his legacy from 13 years in power is getting mixed reviews More

Video Secret Service Chief Under Fire for White House Security Breach

Julia Pierson faces tough questions from lawmakers after recent intrusion at White House, says: 'It is clear that our security plan was not executed properly' More

Frustrated, Liberian Students Want Ebola Fight Role

Thousands have volunteered to go to counties, rural villages to talk to people in their language about deadly virus More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihadi
X
Mahi Ramakrishnan
September 30, 2014 2:16 PM
Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihad

Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Could US Have Done More to Stop Rise of Islamic State?

President Obama says airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Syria will likely continue for some time because, in his words, "there is a cancer that has grown for too long." So what if President Obama had acted sooner in Syria to arm more-moderate opponents of both the Islamic State and the Syrian government? VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Video

Video Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenya

Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Iran's Rouhani Skeptical on Syria Strikes

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani expressed skepticism Friday that U.S.-led airstrikes in Iraq and Syria could crush Islamic State militants. From New York, VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports the president was also hopeful that questions about Iran’s nuclear program could be resolved soon.
Video

Video US House Speaker: Congress Should Debate Authorization Against IS

As wave after wave of U.S. airstrikes target Islamic State militants, the speaker of the Republican-controlled House of Representatives says he would be willing to call Congress back into session to debate a formal, broad authorization for the use of military force. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports from Washington, where legislators left town 10 days ago for a seven-week recess.
Video

Video Ebola Patients Find No Treatment at Sierra Leone Holding Center

At a holding facility in Makeni, central Sierra Leone, dozens of sick people sit on the floor in an empty university building. They wait in filthy conditions. It's a 16-hour drive by ambulance to Kailahun Ebola treatment center. Adam Bailes was there and reports on what he says are some of the worst situations he has seen since the beginning of this Ebola outbreak. And he says it appears case numbers may already be far worse than authorities acknowledge.
Video

Video Identifying Bodies Found in Texas Border Region

Thousands of immigrants have died after crossing the border from Mexico into remote areas of the southwestern United States in recent years. Local officials in south Texas alone have found hundreds of unidentified bodies and buried them in mass graves in local cemeteries. Now an anthropologist and her students at Baylor University have been exhuming bodies and looking for clues to identify them. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Waco, Texas.
Video

Video Ebola Robs Liberians of Chance to Say Good-Bye to Loved Ones

In Liberia, where Ebola has killed more than 1,500 people, authorities have worked hard to convince people to allow specialized burial teams to take away dead bodies. But these safety measures, while necessary, make it hard for people to say good bye to their loved ones. VOA's Anne Look reports on the tragedy from Liberia.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid