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Explained: How corruption is indeed a national disaster

By Dominic Pkalya | December 1st 2015

President Uhuru Kenyatta has declared corruption a national security threat. This was a major paradigm shift on the war on corruption that had hitherto been perceived as an economic crime and an integrity issue.

And while addressing youth at Safaricom Stadium in Kasarani, Pope Francis did not mince his words; he said corruption is a path to death. It is in the same stadium, earlier in the year, that US President Barack Obama said that corruption costs the country 200,000 jobs annually.

Corruption erodes the ability of the Government to deliver basic services, increases the cost of doing business, and reduces earnings on genuine business with cumulative results being increased vulnerability of the population to conflict and political instability.

When 200,000 jobs are lost annually to corruption, where do you expect hundreds of thousands of youths being churned out yearly by institutions of learning to go? This is why Al Shabaab has found a ready and vulnerable pool to recruit from.

Kenya has suffered from violent extremism and terrorism in the region than any other Al Shabaab front line state, thanks to corruption within security and law enforcement agencies.

Corruption diverts public resources to private use. This increases poverty, marginalisation and resentment - the building blocks for instability, violence and violent extremism. This is why arid and semi-arid lands that were marginalised since independence are synonymous with conflict.

I hope the new anti-corruption measures announced by the President will be implemented to save this beloved country from anarchy.

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