Having rejected the sugar probe report, parliament indicated reluctance to join President Uhuru Kenyatta’s fight against corruption. And unless corruption is confronted on all fronts without flinching, the president’s Big Four agenda could easily fail to fly.
Besides the sugar probe, the demolition of buildings on riparian and public land also risks running into headwinds, especially after Kiambu Governor Ferdinand Waititu proposed the diversion of affected rivers as an alternative to inflicting heavy losses on investors. A few days later, the owner of the Taj Mall building said to have been built on a road reserve has spoken out, daring the Government to destroy the building.
This, no doubt, is a pointer of what to expect even as more buildings are set to be demolished in days to come. But while investors plan how to stop looming demolitions, perhaps through acquisition of court orders, a leaked telephone conversation between Kiambu Governor Ferdinand Waititu and Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko gives an insight into what is going on behind the scenes. It vindicates the president’s statement that he had lost a lot of friends who wanted him to stop the demolitions, but he declined.
In the conversation, Waititu is heard pleading for the release of his wife who was arrested at the construction site of an unapproved building in Nairobi’s CBD.
Sonko is heard promising to give Waititu approval for the building long after construction began and the storied building is on the eighth floor. Clearly, this is impunity, which ought to be stopped and punished.
For once, allow war on corruption to bear fruit.