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We need honest leadership to fight graft cartels

By Kabando wa Kabando | Sep 6th 2020 | 3 min read

We are now old folks and we owe this country - if not us, the youth and children, better than we are offering. We in leadership, elected and appointed, even voluntary or perceptive, are failing our motherland.

If you are close or can access senior leaders (President and those around him, including co-opted rivals) please be honest and bold. This country is not headed in the right direction, and the worst could happen sooner than we imagine.

We can advise, compliment and critique if we’re outside, or lead mainstream if we are the incumbents. I recall well that when we raised the red flag about the direction our ruling party was taking, the factions now blaming each other, fought us within corridors and in backyards.

In 2015, we loudly cautioned about what was happening, specifically in President Uhuru Kenyatta’s backyard, the disquiet. Some mandarins hatched plots to fight back, even convincing the President that we were the bad apples.

At one stage, I got worried about my personal security and had to seek assurance from boss himself. Despite a few other direct and indirect instances that indicated discomforts at the highest levels, I was gratified when on February 2016, the President himself assured me, “Kabando you are a publicly spirited person, you have wronged nobody.”

A year before, I had similar session with Deputy President William Ruto and he asked that I should consult more on serious issues. This was after I had led about 200 Jubilee MPs walkout on Treasury CS, PS and Solicitor General over the controversial Sh1.4 billion Anglo Leasing payment.

What is happening in ruling party today could have been prevented if we walked the straight and the narrow. It is too late now and maybe the fallout is good for Kenya. Accusations and counter-accusations on involvement in graft is good for the country, because the truth will come out.

As among pioneer promoters of BBI and handshake, if we now say the bridge has collapsed, we are being attacked just as we were when we raised questions on previous scandals like the NYS. Proxies are being sent to threaten, blackmail or simply to say those high up are unhappy.

Recently, we met a former bigwig who is in court over graft. He asked us, “Why are you fighting the government?” We asked him: “The same government that detained you in cells, has arraigned you in court and frozen your bank accounts?”

Shocking that even when culprits are in problems, they still take offence if you attack graft. It is a mental sickness. Or do they know they will be finally go let go like their ilk before them?

For raising criticism on BBI, and saying as we did before that situation is volatile, we are now called Ruto sympathisers. The same guys who branded us Raila moles. At least for Raila they were nearly right.

Today, the masses no longer care much about the BBI process and if at all it is for select leaders now securing personal fortunes. Dishonesty is the bane of our politics. And fear is the worst enemy among leaders. Nobody is perfect, yet if each of us did our little bit as the humming bird, there would be less regrets and Kenya would be the real winner.  

Those reading this and may be intent on passing the usual suspect lie, be fair for once and tell the President that all is not well. We have done it before. We can again. A true honest friend is a treasure.

Some of us have occasionally told the President that his legacy is in jeopardy. He must win the war against corruption. And beware that graft is our motherland’s worst enemy. Still, graft fights back, kills, maims and lies. But in the end, corruption loses big time. Let us be on the right side of history by fighting graft in all its forms and colours.

-The writer is former MP for Mukurwe-ini

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