Fighting corruption in Kenya has not failed because of lack of enough bodies to fight the despicable vice. The war against corruption has failed because of lack of enough political goodwill from the powers that be, without which even 100 outfits mandated to fight corruption will only be a waste of public resources.
I am yet to see mega-scandal bigwigs, especially former ministers, in the dock since I was born. Some of them are still regional power brokers who promise to rally “their people” into supporting the government of the day, demanding immunity from prosecution in exchange. Political blackmail renders a weak government toothless. Hence it reverts to too many empty threats and formation of more authorities to fight corruption, which is an overused gimmick aimed at hoodwinking the public. Only mediocre governments, lacking the guts to lose some political capital, will tolerate the levels of corruption witnessed in Kenya currently.
Now that the government seems annoyingly helpless in the fight against endemic corruption within its ranks, and Kenyans seem to have resigned to being openly fleeced, why not officially institutionalize the practice by creating a ministry for it? This will at least ensure equitable sharing of the loot, if we find somebody who has looted enough to head it. After all Some clowns said that if you can’t beat them, then join them!
The stench of corruption in this country stinks to the high heavens and Kenyans seem to have become totally resigned to the fact that the culture of amassing Ill-gotten wealth is here to stay. Might it be that all of us have a streak of corruption in us only that we haven’t gotten the right chance to loot? Might it be that we see a bit of ourselves in those who loot public coffers? Maybe we consciously or subconsciously envy these blatant thieves! How then can you explain a scenario where members of a public watchdog committee of parliament who have been behaving like paragons of morality, are caught red handed with their hands in the cookie jar, while the anti-corruption top-dog- EACC senior officials are facing serious corruption allegations? And Kenyans are still sheepishly smiling about it!
Kenyans are caught between two hard options: (1).To face the thieving political class head-on, probably by demanding their removal through riots in the streets, and have the police mercilessly unleashed on them (Because the corrupt elite have the police at their peck and call), or (2). Formally recognize corruption as any other way of earning a living and let it be officially institutionalized. However, just like one wise person once said, “When faced with two equally tough choices, most people choose the third choice: to not choose.” and I think many Kenyans are in this class of people who would rather watch events unfolding without doing anything , even though they continue hurting.
The truth is, if the majority poor Kenyans cannot rise up against official corruption, we will keep wondering why our children go to schools which only qualify to be polling stations while the looters’ children go to schools where presidential debates are held during elections!
It even gets more annoying when we know that the greedy members of the watchdog committee were set up with mere bones while the real looters of the steak are safely watching from the sidelines, with toothpicks in their mouths, having successfully diverted attention from themselves!
Is it by coincidence that the EACC which is the body officially charged to fight corruption is almost on its knees due to seemingly externally instigated “internal” wrangles and corruption allegations flying from left, right and center? Now an MP is bringing up a motion, in the disgraced house, to have the chairman of the EACC disgraced too by being publicly removed from office! Now that this is not the first time we are seeing an Anti-corruption boss being hounded out of office, can somebody convince me that the corrupt mandarins in government and their fishy contractor friends are not behind this development?How low can we sink?
To make a bad situation uglier, the loud silence of the religious institutions about the return of big-time official corruption in the country is quite deafening! Gone are the days when the likes of Arch-Bishop Ndingi Mwana Nzeki, Bishop Alexander Mugo, Referend Timothy Njoya, Cardinal Maurice Otunga and a handful of other clergy stood up to be counted by speaking truth to the powers that be.
As a matter of fact, Kenyans have adjusted their noses to accommodate the filthy stench of corruption and even learnt to admire some crude characters, with deep pockets, whose source of endless liquid cash is totally questionable! If you stay near roses for long enough, you might eventually start smelling like them. I think the same applies to staying near rotten garbage for too long.
If we don’t have the balls to take the well known wealthy thieves to court and prosecute them, then let us stop wasting public money by pretending to be fighting corruption through creating or reviving moribund outfits which will end up drawing hefty salaries and allowances, at the expense of the tax payer, and still yield no results. Once and for all, let us create a ministry of corruption to ensure that the loot is equitably shared.