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

US Imposes Sanctions on Alleged Honduran Drug Gang

Treasury department alleges Los Valles group is responsible for smuggling tens of thousands of kilograms of cocaine into US each month More

At 91, Marvel Creator Stan Lee Continues to Expand his Universe

Company's chief emeritus hopes to interest new generation of children in superheroes of all shapes and sizes by publishing content across multiple media platforms More

Photogallery New Drug Protects Against Virus in Ebola Family

Study by researchers at University of Texas Medical Branch, Tekmira Pharmaceuticals is first looking at drug's effectiveness after onset of symptoms More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebolai
X
George Putic
August 20, 2014 8:57 PM
While the Ebola epidemic continues to claim lives in West Africa, information technology specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about the disease - using social media to educate the public about the deadly virus. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebola

While the Ebola epidemic continues to claim lives in West Africa, information technology specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about the disease - using social media to educate the public about the deadly virus. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Ferguson Calls for Justice as Anger, Violence Grips Community

Violence, anger and frustration continue to grip the small St. Louis suburb of Ferguson, Missouri. Protests broke out after a white police officer fatally shot an unarmed black teenager on August 9. The case has sparked outrage around the nation and prompted the White House to send U.S. Attorney Eric Holder to the small community of just over 20,000 people. VOA’s Mary Alice Salinas has more from Ferguson.
Video

Video Beheading Of US Journalist Breeds Outrage

U.S. and British authorities have launched an investigation into an Islamic State video showing the beheading of kidnapped American journalist James Foley by a militant with a British accent. The extremist group, which posted the video on the Internet Tuesday, said the murder was revenge for U.S. airstrikes on militant positions in Iraq - and has threatened to execute another American journalist it is holding. Henry Ridgwell has more from London.
Video

Video Family Robots - The Next Big Thing?

Robots that can help us with daily chores like cooking and cleaning are a long way off, but automatons that serve as family companions may be much closer. Researchers in the United States, France, Japan and other countries are racing to build robots that can entertain and perform some simpler tasks for us. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video In Ukraine, Fear and Distrust Remain Where Fighting has Stopped

As the Ukrainian military reclaims control of eastern cities from pro-Russian separatists, residents are getting a chance to rebuild their lives. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the town of Kramatorsk in Donetsk province, where a sense of fear is still in the air, and distrust of the government in Kyiv still runs deep.
Video

Video Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said to Be Improving

The World Health Organization has approved the use of experimental treatments for Ebola patients in West Africa. The Ebola outbreak there is unprecedented, the disease deadly. The number of people who have died from Ebola has surpassed 1,200. VOA's Carol Pearson reports on the ethical considerations of allowing experimental drugs to be used.
Video

Video China Targets Overseas Assets of Corrupt Officials

As China presses forward with its anti-graft effort, authorities are targeting corrupt officials who have sent family members and assets overseas. The efforts have stirred up a debate at home on exactly how many officials take that route and how likely it is they will be caught. Rebecca Valli has this report.
Video

Video Leading The Fight Against Islamic State, Kurds Question Iraqi Future

Western countries including the United States have begun arming the Kurdish Peshmerga forces in northern Iraq to aid their battle against extremist Sunni militants from the Islamic State. But there are concerns that a heavily-armed Kurdistan Regional Government, or KRG, might seek to declare independence and cause the break-up of the Iraqi state. As Henry Ridgwell reports from London, the KRG says it will only seek greater autonomy from Baghdad.
Video

Video In Rural Kenya, Pressure Builds Against Female Circumcision

In some Kenyan communities, female genital mutilation remains a rite of passage. But activists are pushing back, with education for girls and with threats of punishment those who perform the circumcision. Mohammed Yusuf looks at the practice in the rural eastern community of Tharaka-Nithi.

AppleAndroid