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BY KORIR JUMA,NAIROBI,7TH JUNE,2019-Outgoing British High Commissioner Nic Hailey has promised that his country will continue to offer support to Kenya in the war against corruption. The same will also be extended towards efforts aimed at recovering proceeds of corruption hidden in foreign countries.
Speaking at a commemorative event to mark Queen Elizabeth’s 93rd birthday at his official residence in Nairobi Thursday evening,Hailey termed the anti-graft campaign as the single most important plank of President Uhuru Kenyatta’s administration that will determine Kenya’s success.
The diplomat who succeeded Christian Turner in December 2015 vowed to work closely with investigative teams to support ongoing efforts to bring corrupt public officials to book.
“What President Kenyatta is doing on corruption is the single most important thing for the future success of this country. Until the day I leave, I will keep working with my team to support investigations, trace stolen money, and bring the corrupt to book. It is time some big thieves went to jail,” Hailey remarked.
He emphasised the need for successful prosecutions to ensure corrupt officials are locked up in jail even as corruptly acquired wealth is seized by the State.
The High Commissioner who announced that he will be ending his tour of duty in the county in coming months enumerated a number of initiatives undertaken in partnership with the Kenyan government.
He highlighted the UKAid’s support for social security initiatives in Turkana where the Kenyan government has increased funding to support vulnerable citizens following the agency’s intervention.
“At first it came from UKAid, but now two-thirds of the money comes from the Kenyan Government – and soon all of it will, building a social security system that gives protection and dignity to hundreds of thousands of Kenya’s poorest people,” Hailey remarked at event graced by among other government officials, Foreign Affairs Principle Secretary Macharia Kamau
He also made reference to an initiative supporting livestock keepers in Arid and Semi-Arid Lands where UKAid has established a livestock fattening programme to help improve body conditions of animals ahead of sale.
The programme, he said, had enabled livestock keepers in Isiolo fetch better prices for their heard with a bull selling for Sh80,000.
“The girls in his community used to sing about morans who rustled cattle from a rival tribe. Now they sing a song about the guy who got 80,000 bob for a fat bull,” Hailey illustrated.
In the northeast, he noted the introduction of a six-month intensive adult literacy and numeracy training programme had help improve the quality of life at the Kakuma refugee camp.
He pledged continued support for Kenya’s military in the ongoing campaign to degrade the al-Shabaab terrorist group and secure the region’s stability.
Hailey said the UK military had worked with Kenya’s military to help build capacity on roadside bomb detection, a skill that has enhanced the effectiveness of the military operation to combat terrorism.