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HOW KENYANS BLUNDER IN THE FIGHT AGAINST CORRUPTION

CorruptionArticle by Winnie Kabintie

Corruption continues to engulf Kenya and it still remains arguably the greatest challenge to Kenya’s social economic development, sadly the scandals keep getting bigger by day.

A report by the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) recently brought to the fore a list of shame; containing a number of public officers who have been linked to corruption.

President Uhuru Kenyatta went ahead to make an unprecedented move and called upon all the leaders mentioned in the report to step down and pave way for investigations.

One would expect the Kenyan taxpayers, whose money is being squandered by the greedy public officers, to be at the forefront of condemning their leaders and call for their resignation in the event that they are found guilty of abuse of office.

However, sober Kenyans have been treated to a rude shock by dozens of hoodwinked individuals who are turning up in solidarity with their leaders to Integrity house for the summons by the Anti-Corruption officials.

In the minds of these individuals, their leader is merely ‘being targeted politically’ and they are ready to defend them with all it takes.

Perhaps it’s this mentality that gives such leaders such audacity to indulge in such mal practices, after all ‘Kenyans don’t really care’, better still, we forget so fast. As soon as another bigger matter of public interest arises, our focus shifts and we rarely look back.

It’s this same myopic mentality that influences our voting patterns whereby tribalism, political party affiliation and other factors takes center stage at the expense of the credibility of a contestant for a public office.

The Global Corruption Barometer (GCB) 2013 conducted by Transparency International showed that over 61% of Kenyans surveyed think that corruption is a serious problem in the country. Well, just thinking is not good enough; it’s about time we took some action as citizens and joined the media and the civil service, the only institutions who have been left to entirely assume the roles of ‘public watch dogs’.

Can you pose for a moment and imagine just how much difference it would make in Kenya if we had even a third of our population carrying activist Boniface Mwangi’s spirit?

Previous and current governments have in one way or another demonstrated some political will to fight corruption by pushing for establishment of an anti-corruption legal framework but as we have witnessed, such institutions will never exercise their mandates fully due to constant interference from powerful corrupt individuals in the government.

Corruption in Kenya can be decreased even if not totally eradicated and it all begins with citizens who understand the power they hold in such a democratic country, to hold public servants accountable and demand for good governance. As the good saying goes, a leader is only as good or bad as the society in which he belongs.

 

President Kenyatta declared winner.

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