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Uhuru releases 7,000 petty offenders to ‘free up space for corrupt big fish’

President Uhuru Kenyatta made good his promise and set free 7,000 petty offenders who were about to clear sentences, saying this would decongest prisons and create enough space to accommodate “big fish” corrupt officials in government.

“Na Chief Justice (David Maraga) yuko hapa. Tumewachilia hao wezi wa kuku na ng’ombe na hizo vitu zingine ndogo ndogo. Now that space can be used to jail wale mabwenyenye wa mali ya umma,” said Mr Kenyatta in off the cuff remarks at Machakos Stadium where this year’s Mashujaa Day was held.

President Kenyatta made the promise on Monday during the State House Summit on Governance and Accountability where he ranted that independent government agencies were frustrating the war on graft. He proimised to release the petty offenders so that the looters of public resources could go to jail.

LANGUISHING IN CELLS

He repeated the pledge as he witnessed the swearing of Justice Maraga at State House, Nairobi, saying the executive is keen to partner with the Judiciary in ensuring Kenyans receive efficient services.

President Kenyatta observed that at the moment there are 20,000 Kenyans languishing in cells because of delayed judgments in courts, saying that is costing both the taxpayer and the victim’s precious time and resources which could be channeled to other economic activities.

“These Kenyans are told their files are lost or some other excuses when they appear in court. It costs us to feed them and keep them in cells,” added the President.

“Yes we have seen dramatic judgments, but at the same time we must say we have witnessed major weaknesses that exist in the judiciary.”