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War on corruption unwinnable without culture change

By Lemargeroi Saruni | Published Tue, May 15th 2018 at 11:06, Updated May 15th 2018 at 11:43 GMT +3
NYS trainees at work: The well-meant institution has been reduced into a looters' paradise. [File/Standard]

In the past few days, the press has been awash with reports of the pillage in the National Youth Service with the amounts stolen or misappropriated in the neighbourhood of Sh9 billion.

 The rate at which corruption continues to sink the nation calls for immediate remedies aentailing a  complete overhaul of systems and structures.

We must end the epidemic that continues to drain public resources. And to heal ourselves, we must be candid and open enough.

One of the greatest forces for change and transition is social media and the communication industry at large. We applaud the media for highlighting the scourge and now we must exert pressure on the judiciary and the police to act willingly and without favour.

Unfortunately often those implicated in corruption cases buy their way out. While the courts are supposed to be channels of justice, it flowing without hindrance, justice has often been bought by the highest bidder. This needs to be addressed if we must succeed. While we publicly shout, in most cases the evidence is either distorted in exchange for money or through negligence, resulting in zero prosecution.

As we get to the bottom of corruption and hope to uproot it, we must have the courage and will to admit that we have often lost it due to lack of morals and ethics.

And, the youth must be in the forefront and join efforts to bring accountability and transparency.

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The next generation is supposed to spearhead honesty, accountability and denounce corruption. The exchange of money for the heart of nation has blinded young leaders and sadly incapacitated their efforts to join Kenyans of good will in seeking to end corruption in public and private.

A mind-shift transformation is key to the incorporation of values and systems that have the will and courage to overcome graft. We must be transformed in our perceptions of wealth creation. No nation can overcome corruption in midst of conflicting values. Through holistic education, the mind can be refined and cleared of malice and the thinking that breeds social evil.

As much as the moral and mental qualities are distinctive in the society as exhibited by individuals, there must be a standard level or gauge on character. A person of unquestionable lifestyle must not stand out as capable of leading.

To recover values and morals, we must collectively demonstrate the highest levels of commitment to growth and development of character in our leaders.

Dealing with corruption should not be underestimated or less prioritised. To this end, we must support the media as they expose the crooks milking public coffers and get the police to do a thorough job having the culprits face justice.

While in the dock, they must be reminded that justice can’t be bought forever. To nationally end corruption we need more action and less talking.

Lemargeroi Saruni is a commentator on socio-political and devevelopment issues based  in Samburu County

 


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