TEXAS, Chief Justice David Maraga has called on Kenyans in the diaspora not to give up on Kenya despite reports of runaway corruption.
Speaking during the official opening of the 2018 Kenya Diaspora Conference held on Friday in Dallas, Texas, Justice Maraga said he was aware that Kenyans living abroad are just as frustrated as their countrymen at home because of mega corruption reports.
“President Uhuru Kenyatta has assured Kenyans that the government will deal with those involved in these vices and I believe him. That’s why I’m asking you not give up on your country. This is the time to be patriotic,” Justice Maraga said.
Justice Maraga said that with such negative reports of rampant corruption, he knew Kenyans are becoming cynical but the government is committed to tackling graft in public institutions.
“I know that the challenges the country faces may sometimes easily lead to the false conclusion that Kenya is a failing and hopeless state. To the contrary, Kenya is a country of enormous progress, promise and hope.
Mr Maraga said the Judiciary has put in place measures to deal with corruption and will remain steadfast in the fight against the vice.
“The recent conviction of some formerly high ranking officials in the Nairobi County government is a clear manifestation of our resolve in the matter. Our democracy may be fragile, but it is growing and flourishing. Our institutions may be young, but they have been tested and they have endured” Mr Maraga said.
Justice Maraga said that even though Kenya’s political leaders may occasionally disappoint, they however have also occasionally exhibited rarely acknowledged sparkling moments of statesmanship.
He said that in 2013, the Supreme Court decided a petition against the opposition, but in a remarkable demonstration of statesmanship, the opposition leader Raila Odinga who strongly disagreed with the decision accepted it and moved on.
Likewise in 2017, when the same court decided a petition against a sitting president, in an equally remarkable demonstration of statesmanship, President Kenyatta similarly strongly disagreed but accepted the decision and went through another election.
“That is how democracy grows and matures. Where has this happened on the continent of Africa? Not many countries in any part of the world, let alone Africa can handle three presidential petitions in five years and survive,” said Mr Maraga.
Justice Maraga said Kenyans have a lot to be proud of in so far as its democratic progress is concerned, however difficult, rugged and uneven that progress may look.
He said they need to have similar pride in the independence and resilience of the Judiciary.
“It is in that context that I want to assure you and all the Kenyan people that as Chief Justice, I have dedicated myself to the building of an independent and effective Judiciary that guarantees the rule of law and upholds the Constitution,” he said.
The 2018 Diaspora Conference is being held at The University of Texas at Dallas, 800 West Campbell Rd, Richardson, TX.
It is a collaboration of Kenyans in the US and their affiliated organisations that form the Association of Kenyan Diaspora Organisations and Kenyan Women in the US