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Corruption has become a way of life in Kenya

By Esther Kahinga | June 11th 2016

Every day I look at the newspapers and these days, there is a headline screaming corruption. It seems corruption has become a way of life in our beloved Kenya. The vice has penetrated every echelon of society and it stinks from earth to high heavens. It’s so bad that people are willing to engage in corruption as long as they are not caught.

But where did the rain start beating us? I wonder? Is it when we started rewarding corruption by not punishing the big fish that were involved in the vice? Or has it been happening all along it’s just that the advent of information and communication technologies has made access to information much easier? Truly, it’s difficult to tell but what needs to be done like yesterday is to figure out how to stop this vice from making Kenya a failed state.

The origin of all corruption is greed. Growing up, I remember the many stories I read about being greedy even though most were related to food. Most of those animals stories talked of how the animal would develop a stomach upset after eating too much or very fast. I think in one particular story, the animal’s stomach actually burst (if not, then that’s my addendum).

Most of the pressing problems that Kenya is grappling with, are the ‘upset stomach’ the country is struggling with as a result of eating ‘too much, too fast.’ From terrorism, poor medical care, high incidence of crime, tribalism, imperial bank, chase bank, high public wage bill, inflation and many others, the origin is more or less the same. People are stealing money from public and private coffers and devising new ways of stealing more money to own properties that only bring animosity once the original owner passes on, or to drive big cars or get elected to political offices.

Whoever told us that a person’s level of success is measured by the number of big houses, cars and jets they own, was the origin of all our troubles. As a country, we need to define new status symbols. Symbols that unite us as citizens and that lead us to protect our environment. Only then will we begin to reign on this monster called corruption, start choosing leaders who are committed to improving the wellbeing of Kenyans, not those serving self-interests.

Elections are round the corner. Can we as individuals be trusted to vote for men and women that are likely to bring real change, and not those that are driving corruption?

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