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Why Kenyans rarely applaud police or judiciary

By | February 7th 2011 at 00:00:00 GMT +0300

Urban Rights - By Steve Ouma
Sometime last year police successfully hunted down 24 teachers who had allegedly acquired loans from a leading local bank through fraudulent means.

Roseleen Nzioka

Sometime last year police successfully hunted down 24 teachers who had allegedly acquired loans from a leading local bank through fraudulent means.

Ideally one would have expected a round of applause for the cops for their thorough investigation, which led to the identification of all and arrest of some of the teachers in question.

By the time the cops got called in by the bank, the 24 teachers had successfully applied for and received loans worth Ksh12 million. No mean feat for one of them whose real payslip read a net salary of Ksh98 = US$ 1.20. (Note: This is not a typing error).

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This particular teacher managed to secure a loan of Ksh1million! This was after presenting a fake payslip to the bank to acquire the loan.

I just wish (and am sure other like-minded Kenyans do), that police and courts could apply the same viciousness and ruthlessness in their investigations when hunting down the big shots in this country who pilfer public coffers dry. When it comes to the small fish (small crooks) there seems to be a precision with which the justice system operates and goes for the jugular. But when it comes to the big fish, we get treated to one circus after another of how investigations have hit a snag or that the AG in his wisdom has entered a nolle prosequi or arrests have been made but the suspects released and so on.

True, banks need to be protected from crooks, all crooks. After all someone or some people somewhere put their money on the line to start the banks, especially local banks.

Big fish involved in pyramid schemes, big scams such as Goldenberg, Angloleasing, Triton, purchase of embassy residences, squandering IDP and education money, maize money et etc are still walking "scot-free" as real or imagined "investigations" go on.

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I am Not condoning what the teachers did, especially considering that their pupils probably looked up to them only to be let down yet again by a section of the adult population around them. Unfortunately the children of Kenya have no role models.

A colleague recently wrote in his blog that Kenyan children living in the USA with their parents lack role models because of the "moves" adult Kenyans living there have had to pull just to survive. I would like to console him by telling him it would not have been different were all Kenyans living in Kenya, because even here children are watching their parents, teachers, church leaders, political leaders etc engage in words and actions only fit for a dysfunctional society, which is what we have become.

Our justice system, starting with the police should investigate, prosecute and send to jail ALL those big shots who have pilfered public coffers dry and are directly responsible for the debilitating poverty pervading Kenya today. Only then would we put our hands together to applaud when they go for the jugular of some pathetically paid teacher.

My optimism for a better Kenya may well be a chimera playing out in my mind because when you live in a country that’s been rated among the top 20 failed states GLOBALLY for two consecutive years (never mind the government’s denial of this), you are forced to wonder what it would take to have real fundamental changes that would ensure equity and equality in society.