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State's renewed war on corruption is promising; deserves support

By The Standard | Published Sat, August 11th 2018 at 09:50, Updated August 11th 2018 at 09:54 GMT +3

The renewed enthusiasm with which the Executive arm of government is fighting impunity merits praise. For many years, lawlessness has defined our country. In fact, Kenya has been branded a land of chaos where only the corrupt thrive. In fact, our potential is held back by corruption — the common denominator to every social ill facing us.  

While most Kenyans believe it is an obligation to uphold laws of the land, others care less if there’s any legal or moral reason to obey the rule of law. They break it at will and with comfort and get away with it.

This is why we support President Uhuru Kenyatta’s latest resolve to take lords of impunity head-on. His no-nonsense approach looks promising. Offices of the DPP and DCI are finally putting their house in order to the chagrin of graft principals.

In the last two months, we have seen heads roll as a combined spirited anti-corruption purge sets in. After a long while, big fish are being hauled before courts to answer to charges related to plunder of public funds. We have also seen buildings built on riparian land brought down. It started with South End Mall on Nairobi’s Langata Road. Yesterday, Ukay Mall came down. State officers who approved these buildings that defy planning guidelines aren’t sitting pretty too.

We would like to see more structures come down, including those built on road reserves. Outer Ring Road in Nairobi has stalled because a mall is blocking one service lane in Embakasi. We hope the rule of law will prevail. Due to endemic corruption, economic disparities in our midst are deplorable. Less than 0.1 per cent of Kenyans own more wealth than the bottom 99.9 per cent, according to a recent Oxfam International report.   

Mau reclamation should also continue. We call on Kenyans of goodwill to support it without batting an eye lid. Graft war must continue without fear or favour. We cannot allow corrupt elements to set us up for failure. Even ‘untouchables’ should realise we are equal before the law. We must right these wrongs to become an equal but progressive society.

 

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