Kenyans insist on right to vote in 'our thieves'

Well-known thieves will be elected and celebrated as “our thieves.” [iStockphoto]

The Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission has released a list of individuals it claims are spectacularly disqualified from running for public office, even chairing a cattle dip project in the village, because they have been implicated in financial impropriety.

I wanted to add that the same folks shouldn’t be allowed to chair nursery school boards, but I quickly changed my mind because Kenyans appear to be learning thieving ways right from kindergarten. So politicians must have been serving as chairs of such entities.

And come prize-giving days, they outline possible career paths to toddlers and benefits that accrue from politics. Unsurprisingly, all future leaders in different career trajectories end up running for political office — and there are tens of thousands of opportunities every five years.

More crucially, the outcome is the same: Whether it’s a progressive NGO-type, a highway robber, disgraced land-grabber, well-known pimps and technocrats, all end up stealing from public coffers.

Predictably, what will follow in the coming weeks ahead will be ear-shattering opprobrium as well-known thieves protest their innocence, with known lawyers standing beside them.

And they will quote a legal precedent that allowed UhuRuto Kenyatta to run for office in 2013 as the threshold.

How did International Criminal Court suspects become a model for what constitutes good leadership?

This our land needs earnest prayers. After all, what happened in the post-poll pogrom in 2007/08, when the state teetered on the brink of capitulation cannot stand the best of our times.

But then, our logic is twisted, which is why well-known thieves will be elected and celebrated as “our thieves.”