Corruption should be key plank in 2022 race

Deputy President William Ruto, who has declared he will run for President in 2022. [Standard]

As the clock of Uhuru Kenyatta’s presidency ticks away, so does our hopes of a new Kenya. This is of course a perilous statement to state in this Kieleweke and Tanga Tanga times.

But it is a statement of fact, and I beg for your indulgence before you surmise that I have gone the way of many a court jester.

Uhuru Kenyatta, in his second term, has done two things that have opened a window of opportunity for the nation to be born again.

He had a handshake with former Prime Minister Raila Odinga and he began a fight against corruption.

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The handshake was aimed at uniting the country and fighting corruption. These two issues are twine.

Using tribe as defence

It is obvious that the safest abode for the corrupt is the cocoon of tribe and the vitriol we spew as we realign endlessly for the 2022 election. For as long as we the masses, like sheep, follow shepherds on the merit of their last name then Kenya shall never remove the shackles of corruption.

As we speak, this fight is doubted solely on the merits that someone said it was one-sided and aimed at one side of the government. 

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It is in that confusion that we find ourselves once again divided by politicians on the basis of tribe. It is this same corruption that has now convinced us that we need, as a matter of urgency, to choose our next president without any thought as to whether the fight against corruption will happen or if he too will continue to unite us.

While we jostle for who, for no rhyme or reason, will rule post 2022 we forget that we are pondering an opportunity.

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The opportunity we plunder as we are torn between Kieleweke and Tanga Tanga, is the opportunity to join the war against corruption.

We are squandering our opportunity to unite and we are embracing division as though in that divide is hidden a magical castle that shall magically drive away our poverty and misery.

What happens after 2022?

Let's argue, but we must admit to ourselves that post President Kenyatta, I do not see one of the possible successors genuinely fighting the vices he has declared war on.

Do we have three years after which the fight against corruption will be all but gone and we will be left to the whims of politicians whose track record speaks volumes?

To them the tribe is still their political machine and wealth acquisition by any means necessary still their main goal.

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Yet we the downtrodden are busy as the choir boys of the naysayers - the inert politicians who love our division and tribalism, and thus enjoy status quo.

Chance to break clean? 

Why won't we take President Kenyatta seriously? We must believe that his heart is genuine and the fight real. If for no other reason then let us do it because it is the only chance we have in probably a generation to fight the greed of our leaders.

We must realise that if we the people, decided to demonstrate that the fight must continue we would see more of the corrupt arrested. We forget that if we whistleblew there would be more officials behind bars.

If we the people blurred the lines between our tribes, thieves would have nowhere to hide.

You see dear reader, it doesn’t matter if President Kenyatta is serious, it matters that we are. If we were to hold him to account for his words and his promise there may just be a chance, though slim, that in three years we may have made a step ahead.

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It is possible that if we supported the fight against corruption it may just work.

Clutching at straws

The sages of old said that a drowning man will clutch at any straw. Kenya is drowning and President Kenyatta has given us a straw.

The problem with us is we have written poems about the weakness of the straw, we have argued about its colour and why it seems closer to some than others.

Forgetting all the while that we are drowning. The abyss is calling us and the monsters there are singing Tanga Tanga and Kieleweke.

There is great jubilation every time our enemies awaken and they realise we have not yet joined the war. Like an army conscription, the less of us that join the army, the less scared our enemies are.

A simple study of those campaigning and their messages will easily tell you that corruption is not on their agenda so they don’t bother to tell you that they have a plan against corruption because they rely on your disdain for the fight to steam their boat.

My fellow Kenyans, it is not just for President Kenyatta to fight corruption; it is you and I too. We must take the chance while it still exists.

We must shun the corrupt and befriend those that are fighting the vice. We must truly criticise when the fight goes awry, but we must also be there to fix what is wrong and fight again.

You see at the end of the day, it is not President Kenyatta's future we are fighting for, it is ours and the more we Tanga Tanga and Kieleweke the more we lose the fight against corruption, the less we are united and the more we lose the 2022 election regardless of who we elect.

Mr Bichachi is a communication consultant. [email protected]

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Deputy President William Ruto2022Uhuru KenyattaRaila OdingaKielewekeTanga TangaBichachi