Kenyatta: Poverty-free World Possible

Former Minister of Gender, there Labour and Social Development Zoe Bakoko Bakuru has moved to end self-imposed exile, Chimp Corps report.

This was revealed by Presidential Press Secretary, Linda Nabusayi on Saturday.

Nabusayi said Bakoko met with Museveni in United States this week over her return.

“She wants the President to help her return home,” said Nabusayi.

Bakoko fled to exile in U.S. in 2006 after the Inspector General of Government commenced criminal proceedings of abuse of office against her.

Bakoko had been accused of approving a private company to enter into a joint venture with the National Social Security Fund (NSSF, making the workers’ pension scheme to lose sh8b.

In a letter of September 30, the acting IGG, Raphael Baku Obudra, withdrew charges of abuse against Bakoko after failing to trace her but said she would be arrested once spotted by authorities.

“Take note that the Government of Uganda intends that the proceedings against Bakoko Bakoru Zoe, charged with abuse of office and James Isabirye, charged with bribery of a member of a public body under the Prevention of Corruption Act, shall not continue,” the letter said.


The head of prosecution at the Inspectorate of Government, Sydney Asubo, said: “Several attempts were made to arrest Bakoko and Isabirye but we have up to now failed to arrest them, so the inspectorate has decided to withdraw charges against them.”

After the IGG directive, Buganda Road Court Chief Magistrate Vincent Mugabo withdrew the charges against Bakoko and Isabirye but issued criminal summons for Geofrey Onegi Obel, the former NSSF board chairman, to appear on charges of abuse of office and causing financial loss.

According to the IGG’s report, Bakoko got the agreement to construct the housing estate in the morning and approved it in the afternoon without consulting the Cabinet and the Attorney General.

Prosecution had accused Isabirye of offering $350,000 (about sh700m) to Leonard Mpuuma, the former NSSF managing director.

The money was meant to influence Mpuuma to allow NSSF enter into a joint venture with Isabirye’s company, Mugoya Construction Company.

Mpuuma pleaded guilty to causing financial loss and paid sh100m to NSSF. Thereafter, the charges against him were dropped.

Onegi-Obel is said to have caused the financial loss following the botched $225m (about sh400b) Nsimbe Housing Estates deal between NSSF and the Kenya-based construction guru, Isabirye.

Prosecution said Onegi-Obel, between 2003 and 2005, caused NSSF to go into a joint venture with a private business company without subjecting it to competitive prequalification and without a feasibility study.
President Uhuru Kenyatta has praised world governments for trusting Kenya with the role of spearheading the process that led to the adoption of the Post 2015 Development Agenda.

Speaking when he addressed a special UN Summit held to adopt the Sustainable Development Goals this week, physician President Kenyatta also thanked UN member states and other stakeholders for patiently engaging in negotiations culminating in a blueprint to galvanise global action towards ending poverty in all its forms.

Kenya co-chaired the inter-governmental process that led to the formulation of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals.

The Sustainable Development Goals are 17 objectives aimed at eradicating poverty and inequality and will replace the Millennium Development Goals that were adopted by UN member states 15 years ago.

President Kenyatta said inequality was still rife in the world and much more resources as well as policy dedication was required to mend the rifts.

“We must acknowledge that progress has been uneven across the world and across the Goals. There remains a huge disparity between and within countries,” said the President.

“Within countries, rural poverty remains unacceptably high while urban poverty is extensive, growing, and underreported by traditional indicators,” said the President.

He said in some parts of Africa, child and maternal mortality were rising instead of decreasing.

The President said Kenya has made tremendous progress over the last decade in addressing factors that have contributed to inequalities.

He cited the 116 per cent rise in the gross enrolment rate in primary schools since the introduction of universal free primary education in 2003.

“Even more significantly we have now achieved gender parity in the primary school cycle while the transition from primary to secondary and tertiary have greatly improved,” he said.

The Head of State also cited the numerous measures introduced in recent years to promote gender mainstreaming including policies in procurement and rules on employment.

Post 2015 Agenda

Earlier in the afternoon, President Kenyatta chaired the first of the six sideline events of the summit of the Post 2015 Agenda. The theme of the interactive dialogue was “tackling inequalities, empowering women and girls and leaving no one behind”.

He said the objective of the new Agenda of attaining a world free of poverty and hunger within the next 15 years is a good starting point of addressing inequalities.

The President said it is possible to eradicate inequalities if all nations are committed to eliminate discrimination, spend more on healthcare and making it affordable, create decent work and strive towards creating full employment.

The fourth point suggested by the President to address inequalities is improvement of infrastructure for water and sanitation , transportation, energy and information.

“Measures to reduce and redistribute unpaid care work; legal and policy reform to ensure full and equal access to financial and productive resources and assets, especially for women; and universal social protection floors should be a priority,” said the President.

President Kenyatta said inequality can be eradicated and added he was happy to note that the new development agenda voices the needs and rights of those who are furthest behind.

“Inequality can be tackled, it is up to the policy makers to build comprehensive strategies for inclusive growth and better wealth distribution,” said the President.

The session was co-chaired by the President of Croatia, Ms Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic.

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