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Could 'wananchi' be the main drivers of corruption in Kenya?

By Yvonne Okwara | November 14th 2016

It’s time to turn the narrative of corruption on its head. It is about this story from nyeri that has got residents
talking. So this is what happened:

Nyeri County Woman Representative Priscilla Nyokabi was apparently invited for a fundraising and instead of giving the millions that some politicians usually dole out at such events the legislator could only part with 2000 shillings. This got Nyeri residents talking.

It is reported that some of the ‘wananchi’ attending the church event were so shocked by the 'little' donation that they complained loudly. How does an MP contribute just two thousand shillings? They seemed to be asking.

The irony is that it was a church harambee. Does the good book not say that God loves the cheerful giver? Do we not sing the chorus, ‘Toa ndugu dada, ulicho nacho wewe? ...’ What hypocrisy!

For years, we have condemned certain politicians for just that, giving huge unexplained sums of money at fund raisers. We even calculate their salaries and figure that they cannot possibly afford those contributions.

But when we come across a politician who wants to stay on the straight and narrow, we cry foul?

We are not about to justify any form of corruption here, but could it be that we are the main drivers of this vice?

Have we placed too many unreasonable demands on the leaders that they find easy excuses to loot public coffers?

As a matter of fact the MP herself is reported to have asked the constituents whether they wanted her to go and steal so she could meet their very high expectations.

Lest we forget, other than representation and oversight, the most consequential work of a member of parliament is legislation. And on that score, few people can fault the good legislator from Nyeri.

Dear Kenyan, you have the selfsame Priscilla Nyokabi to thank for the access to information act that now allows you access to information held by the government. That is her job, legislation. Not contributions of millions of shillings!

I wonder how many of these constituents have ever interrogated her on these issues. Instead they demand money, a lot of money from her.

How then do we have the gall to accuse our leaders of corruption when we routinely force them to give what they don't have?

The next time you call a leader corrupt, take a good, long hard look in the mirror first.

That’s my take!


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