By Wanyonyi Wambilyanga
A lifestyle audit, prosecutions and severing ties with erstwhile allies are the morning announcement that came from State House ahead of the much awaited State of the Nation address.
In a brave show, what Kenyans are now used to, President Kenyatta on Thursday said rich Kenyans who have not been paying their taxes will be required to disclose sources of their wealth.
“High net worth persons whose lifestyles are not reflective of the taxes that they pay must be compelled to demonstrate the source of their wealth and to contribute their share of taxes accordingly,” he said in a series of tweets from State House.
Mr Kenyatta, who is expected to address the nation this afternoon, called on Kenyans to fight the scourge of corruption and work to end it.
“The fight against corruption requires all of us to work together in one common accord. A battalion of 45 Million Strong that makes us one indivisible nation. Similarly all arms of Government must work together to eliminate this vice,” he said in a series of tweets from State House.
Kenyans had expressed their expectation earlier on by saying Mr Kenyatta will yet again issue a warning to the corrupt and the president seemingly made an appeal for all to join in the fight.
“I ask you all, in the love of our Great Nation, to join me in fighting corruption. Shame the corrupt, and refuse to honour them. Teach our children to protect their reputation and that of their family by growing to be honest adults,” he tweeted.
And the president touted the fight against corruption as part of his legacy.
He wants “to leave a legacy where corruption has been brought to an end”.
And the threats came in torrents: “No individual will get away with embezzling public resources. Everyone who has pocketed funds meant for development must be held accountable. We have invested for the development of this nation, not for self-gain.”
“The ongoing prosecutions will not be limited to senior public servants who betrayed their Oaths of Office but also their accomplices in the private sector, including those professionals who aid in the laundering of stolen public funds.”
“I want everyone in Kenya to know that no matter your standing in society, we are all equal before the law. Cases against corrupt acts are being built against persons who may have thought themselves untouchable,” he tweeted.
And while targeting the giver and receiver of bribes may not sound new, the Head of State reminded Kenyans: “The ongoing prosecutions will not be limited to senior public servants who betrayed their Oaths of Office but also their accomplices in the private sector, including those professionals who aid in the laundering of stolen public funds.”
Whereas State House claimed the tweets were teasers for the actual address, the firm stand on corruption, at least on social media, breathed a new life in the fight against the scourge.
While the tough talk on corruption dominated the tweets, the president also spoke on development, unity patriotism and the Big 4 Agenda.
Mr Kenyatta called on the public service to be diligent and uphold values of hard work and honesty to make the country a better place.
Building Kenya is neither the responsibility of one person nor can it be done without taxes, he said.
The president did not mince his words when he spoke about the country’s coffers.
“There can be no State without people, there can be no development without taxes and there can be no taxes without the generation of wealth by our people. This recognition puts us all at par,” noted President Kenyatta.