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Kenya Time to crack the whip on corrupt State officers is now

EDITORIAL
By Editorial | March 23rd 2015

Through Executive Order No 6 of March 2015, President Uhuru Kenyatta put all the corrupt Government functionaries on notice. Since then, he has issued several warnings but it seems everything reverts back to normal as soon as he leaves the venue from which such edicts are issued.

It has become routine to hear the Deputy President threaten dire consequences to those who are corrupt with his trade-mark warning ‘the Jubilee government’ will not condone the vice.

One is bound to ask; who is Government?

Admittedly, corruption is not a preserve of Kenya; what distinguishes us from the rest is the attitude and manner in which we deal with it. The average Kenyan is said to pay a minimum of 16 bribes a month to get services from State offices.

Transparency International’s Corruption Perception Index places Kenya at position 145 out of 174. Of the possible 100 marks, Kenya scored only 25. More distressing is the fact that the architects of corruption operate from the highest offices in the land.

The President is on record saying there are cartels operating from his office but has done nothing to arrest the vice.

Corruption has been institutionalised to a point where those who are adversely mentioned don’t feel bothered by it.

Only recently, Maurizio Lupi, Italy’s Transport and Infrastructure minister resigned over allegations of corruption involving the irregular award of tenders and contracts totalling Sh25billion euros.

The minister himself is not under investigation but has resigned because of associating with some of the suspects. Romania’s Finance minister also resigned early this month because of corruption in his ministry.

Entrenched corruption started with revelations that MPs routinely claimed false mileage running into millions every month. It later transpired that they receive bribes to pass or reject motions in the House. It progressed to further revelations that some House committee members are corrupt. Members of the Parliamentary Accounts Committee are under investigation for receiving bribes. Budget committee members irregularly allocated themselves Sh51million against house rules. The Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission is itself under investigation for corruption. Officials of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission and the Kenya National Examination Council are under investigation for corruption. The police, the Lands ministry and other State agencies have not been spared.

Is it because nearly all the MPs face credibility issues that they have not vehemently demanded the resignation of those associated with the sleaze in Government?

Corruption has exposed Kenya to terrorist groups that buy their way into the country without immigration documents.

 

President Uhuru Kenyatta must go beyond mere threats by taking the bull by the horns.

He must fire the first shot across the bow to signal intent by ejecting from office those adversely mentioned in corrupt deals since voluntary resignation is a foreign concept to them. Such individuals must stay out of office until such a time that their innocence is established. Those who don’t measure up should face the law.

With the corruption allegations surrounding them, Members of Parliament have no moral authority to investigate either the EACC or House committees.

Such a task should be handled by an impartial, objective and independent institution if the truth is to come out.

With the President’s apparent reluctance to crack the whip, it is doubtful that mysteries of scams such as Anglo Leasing will ever be solved.

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