President William Ruto has ordered the board of the Kenya Forest Service to sack 23 corrupt officers immediately.
The Head of State who spoke Wednesday during the passing out parade of 2,664 Kenya Forest Service Rangers in Gilgil noted that the officials who include Forest Managers and Forest Rangers guilty of malpractice were under investigation by the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI).
“Those who have been found compromised, incompetent or engaging in corruption in this place that has led to the destruction of our forest assets. I have instructed the board to remove them from being officers of the government and as the DCI is concluding the investigations to make sure these people are prosecuted,” President Ruto said.
“From tomorrow I don’t want them in government payroll. These are people who are saboteurs and who are encouraging the destruction of our environment. There must be a thorough clean up in KFS,” he added.
Sounding a warning to inept and corrupt officials at KFS, the President instructed the Environment Ministry to make sure that the tragedy that had become of the Kenya Forest and environmental conservation in our country must come to an end.
“We are going to take whatever steps necessary to protect our environment and forest and to make sure that officers must serve with integrity,” the President said.
Meanwhile, the President said that going forward uniforms for security forces and shoes will be locally made as a way of creating employment for the Kenyan youth. This follows after the uniforms the KFS recruits wore today we locally made.
The recruits set to be deployed immediately will be tasked with implementing the government’s plan to increase the country’s forest cover by 30 percent by 2032, up from the current 12.13 percent.
Speaking to KBC on Tuesday, KFS Ag. Commandant David Chege said the rangers have received top-notch training to deal with difficult working environments while assuring that KFS had put in place elaborate measures to improve their welfare.
“Rangers face life-threatening situations posed by fires and wildlife among other dangers, as such an advanced insurance cover has been put in place to cater for them in case of any injuries. We will also provide adequate housing” he said.
The recruits have undergone training in several forest law enforcement approaches including a human-rights-based approach to law enforcement, law and policy development and implementation, battle tactics, KFS procedures, and criminal justice system procedures among others.