Several of Kenya’s top government ministers stepped down Saturday after Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta asked high-ranking officials named in an ongoing corruption probe to leave their offices, according to a report. The state-run Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission produced the confidential corruption report, which documents unspecified instances of corruption by top Kenyan government and corporate officials
Kenyatta asked anyone negatively referenced in the document to resign in order to allow an investigation into any wrongdoing to proceed. Labor Minister Kazungu Kambi, Infrastructure Minister Michael Kamau and Energy and Petroleum Cabinet Secretary Davis Chirchir were among those to resign, said government spokesman Monoah Esipisu, according to Reuters.
"Clearly the president has drawn the line on corruption and expects all state and public officers to abide by executive order No.6 in which he gives express directives in regard to the intolerance for this vice in government," Esipisu said, according to Reuters. “The President reaffirms that there are no sacred cows and that this is just the beginning of an unwavering war against corruption.”
The three Kenyan government ministers joined Agriculture and Fisheries Cabinet Secretary Felix Koskei, the Kenyan deputy president’s chief of staff and eight top executives from state-run corporations and the National Social Security Fund, who also announced their resignations this week. Koskei said he has yet to be questioned by investigators and vowed to start the fight to clear his name on Monday. Details on the specific allegations against the government officials were not made available.
More than 50 officials may ultimately be forced out of office due to the corruption probe, Bloomberg reports. In its report, the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission had said it was “under siege” from officials who were under investigation.
Kenyatta vowed to fight corruption in Kenya when he took office in 2013. The wave of resignations came days after Kenyatta apologized to the Kenyan people for past atrocities committed by the government, including a past regime’s operational support for post-election violence that killed more than 1,000 people from 2007 to 2008, according to the Associated Press.