A lot of things may be historic, but Thursday’s judgement by the Anti-Corruption Court against Sirisia MP John Waluke and his co-accused Grace Wakhungu truly is.
In addition to losing his seat, Waluke, who has the right of appeal, will pay Sh1 billion to the State or serve 67 years in jail for taking advantage of poor and hungry Kenyans to mint cash through a shadowy company.
Without question, the Judiciary seems to have signaled a new resolve in the fight against corruption. From the Thursday judgement, the courts are seemingly coming off the tag of being the weakest link in the war on corruption.
We believe Anti-Corruption Court’s Chief Magistrate Elizabeth Juma’s judgement should motivate the police, the DCI, EACC and other arms to up the war, including cases involving the ‘big fish’.
Seasoned graft networks have been jolted. Let everyone guilty of stealing public funds, irrespective of their political, cultural, religious and economic status carry their own cross.
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At this point in time, we call on the Judiciary to speed up the hearing of pending mega corruption cases. Of course, corruption architects will always fight back. But with public and political goodwill, investigative agencies and the courts should smoke out and nail all the schemers, tenderprenuers and racketeers.
According to EACC, most cash stolen from the public is sunk in real estate projects, stashed abroad or placed in bank accounts in the names of family members, associates and close friends. There should be real commitment to ending this trend, and no stone should be left unturned.
Suffice to say, the country’s future is on the line due to graft in high places. Investor confidence is waning and the economic advantage we long held in the region now threatened. President Uhuru Kenyatta has work cut out for him as he seeks to secure his legacy.
For the war on graft to succeed, it must not be laced with political malice. We exhibit lack of foresight when we wage an anti-corruption war with the sole end game of ‘fixing’ some individuals politically. Let the rule of law guide the fight. We have a future to secure in the wake of many emerging challenges, including Covid-19.