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Last Updated: Monday, 20 October, 2003, 19:48 GMT 20:48 UK
'Day of reckoning' for Kenya graft
President Mwai Kibaki
Kibaki says there will be no let-up in fighting corruption
Kenya's President Mwai Kibaki says the "day of reckoning" has arrived for those used to thriving on corruption.

Ruling out the possibility of pardoning the culprits, President Kibaki said that his government's war on corruption was a serious one and that nobody should treat the crusade as a joke.

"Corruption has been one of the key problems with governance in the country," President Kibaki said on Monday in a speech to mark Kenyatta day, a public holiday set aside to honour Kenyans who fought for the country's independence.

"The writing is on the wall... those who choose to engage in this vice must know they will be called to give an account of their actions," said Mr Kibaki.

President Kibaki's National Alliance Rainbow Coalition (Narc) won the December 2002 elections on a promise to tackle widespread corruption and revamp the health and education sectors, but many Kenyans now complain of slow progress.

Under pressure

Last week the Kenyan president suspended 23 judges - including half of the country's Appeals Court judges - and set up tribunals to investigate them.

Eighty-two magistrates are also under investigation for alleged corruption.

The BBC's Alice Muthengi in Nairobi says that concern has been growing over the president's handling of important national issues, with both Narc and opposition politicians urging him to publicly state his position on issues such as alleged corruption in his government and the widening divisions within the ruling Narc.

But she says that for a man under pressure to show that his government was delivering on its election promises - and whose health has been questioned after he was involved in a serious car accident during the 2002 election campaigns - Mr Kibaki looked confident.

President Kibaki's government is hoping to convince the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to resume its lending when it meets next month.

The IMF froze its lending programme in 2000 over concerns that the then President Daniel Arap Moi's government was not doing enough to fight corruption.

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