Presidential aspirant Dr. Mukhisa Kituyi has urged voters to elect leaders with the will to fight corruption and those with track record on good governance in the 2022 general election.
Dr. Kituyi who has completed his week-long grassroots campaign of the coast region said aspirants for the highest office in the land must now clear their names of corruption and campaign on the basis of their records of performance and not empty rhetoric.
Speaking at the Swahili Pot Hub in Mombasa after meeting grassroots leaders drawn from Mombasa, Kwale and Kilifi counties, the politician said the fight against corruption must be a top-bottom approach and hence the need to vote for leaders with integrity track record.
“Dabbling in corruption must be made costly in this country. The fight against corruption must be a top-bottom approach. We need leaders who meet the provisions of Chapter six of the constitution on leadership and integrity. Presidential aspirants must be as transparent and clean as Caesar’s wife,” he said.
He said presidential aspirants should be elected on the basis of what they have accomplished and not empty promises and their abilities to spew profanities.
His campaign ended even as Deputy President Dr. William Ruto embarks on his vote-hunting tour of the same region.
The former Secretary General of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (Uctad) said he got an overwhelming reception from coast elders and youth alike as he embarks on grassroots consultations ahead of the launch of his yet to be disclosed political party.
Dr. Kituyi who is also a former cabinet minister of Trade met a group of youth leaders at the Swahili pot hub centre in Mombasa county noting that his leadership will be youth centred.
He said he was on a countrywide tour after consulting elders in his Western region backyard after returning to the country at the end of his tour of duty in Geneva, Switzerland in February this year.
The former Kimilili MP said the coast economy has suffered the effects of cargo haulage by Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) to Naivasha and most seriously the Covid-19 pandemic which has forced tourist hotels to close down leading to massive job losses.
He said the next president must inspire hope to Kenyans who have suffered years of economic downturn and runaway corruption.
“We must show corrupt leaders that it doesn’t pay to use public resources for personal benefits” he said.
He said there was a need to speed up the implementation of blue economy programmes including facilitating locals to go for deep-sea fishing in addition to offering other opportunities to enhance their livelihoods.
He said it was not enough for top government officials to say that Sh2 billion was being lost to systemic corruption every month and instead they should act to end graft by making it costly.
“It is not enough to say that Sh2 billion is lost to corruption every month. We need to jail those who steal public resources and recover stolen wealth,” he said.
At the same time, Dr. Kituyi opposed the heavy borrowing with little immediate impact on generating opportunities for Kenyans.
He noted that the public debt has grown from Sh1.3 trillion to the current over Sh8 trillion in recent years and the country has no capacity to service it and will be a burden to the next generation.
“I have no problem if we borrow for a project that will have an immediate positive impact on the economy. But the problem is that we have had too much appetite for loans without considering our ability to repay,” he quipped.
Dr. Kituyi said it was necessary to reduce the country’s budget to size instead of going on a borrowing spree to plug holes as it was no longer sustainable.
On the recent ruling on the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) by a bench of five high court judges, Dr. Kituyi urged caution saying it was wrong for those who criticized the judges for doing their work.
“I am urging leaders who were angered by the ruling to refrain from demeaning the judiciary because they will still run back to courts for interpretation of the law,” he said.
He commended President Uhuru Kenyatta and ODM leader Raila Odinga who are the BBI principals for refraining from criticizing the judges over their ruling.