For many years, there have been calls to declare corruption a national disaster in Kenya. While successive governments have been reluctant to do so, I think time has come for Jubilee administration to make this declaration. It is annoying that all government efforts to end corruption have yielded nothing.
Instead, more scandals, both at the county and national government level, continue to be unearthed. More government officials, keen on getting rich quickly, continue to dip their hands in public coffers, betraying Kenyans who gave them the offices to watch over the taxes.
The latest scandals involved a plan to construct three dams at the cost of Sh91 billion. Two were to be constructed in Elgeyo Marakwet and one in Nakuru.
Reports indicate the contractor has already been paid a portion of the money yet the projects are yet to start and there is no sign the construction will start any time soon. Never mind the money was borrowed, loans the Kenyans will eventually pay, through their nose as usual.
Other than declaring corruption a national disaster, we must design the most punitive punishment against culprits. We cannot allow a few elected or appointed officials to continue swindling taxpayers.
It is annoying that several Cabinet Secretaries have been mentioned in scandals even after President Kenyatta vowed to ruthlessly deal with any corrupt official in his administration. We are tired with Uhuru’s empty threats, we need action. But maybe they have been emboldened by the fact that no one has been punished for corruption.
Even the DP William Ruto confessed owning the controversial Weston Hotel even after vehemently denying links to it. Even worse, he later confessed the land on which the hotel was gotten illegally by the original owner.
It is amazing how a person can confess wrongdoing and continue holding their offices. With the DP’s example, you don’t expect CSs and other officials to fear – there are no reprisals after all. Corruption is a threat to everyone. Kenya’s economy is at risk.
This means we use all available means to punish corruption, including effecting the dreaded Friday arrests against suspects of corruption as the Director of Public Prosecution Noordin Haji and DCI boss George Kinoti have been doing. We must also empower all agencies in the fight against corruption, including EAAC and the DCI.
The EACC should be given powers to investigate, arrest and prosecute suspects. These institutions should also be funded adequately.