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Are Kenyans really against corruption?
By Ambei Milimu | Updated Apr 01, 2017 at 12:32 EAT

It is said that the first step towards solving a problem is accepting that there exists a problem.

In Kenya, beyond all other ills that bedevil us as a country, corruption remains a challenge to the nation-state envisaged.

That corruption is an undesirable appendage to the Kenyan society is not a question.

That as a vice it has had far reaching negative ramifications on the sociopolitical and economic landscape of Kenya is not up for debate.

Like drug addicts to their fix, Kenyans in general seem to be finding it extremely difficult to break off this bad habit.

But how could it be that despite Kenyans perceived frustration at the levels of corruption in the country it seems to be doing well?

The answer is simple. Corruption in Kenya is not an intruder, it is the home owner.

It is popular culture that is admonished for political correctness but embraced and nurtured behind the scenes.

It is a fully owned vice by all Kenyans. As shown by a recent study,it is not just a present concern but also a concern for the future as most youth have embraced it and seem to find no issue in practising it.

The enduring question therefore becomes, yes Kenyans want corruption gone but are we ready for a corruption-free society?

We must realise that everything we see around us in one way or another is a proceed of corruption.

That is how endemic and entrenched corruption is in Kenya. Be it the fast rising skyscraper or a new highway.

Be it the 'rapidly' expanding economy or ballooning middle-class. In one way or another these developments are the offsprings of a corrupt system.

Money stolen from a public company to build a glittering private skyscraper.A flawed tendering process that awarded the highway project to a developer who is not necessarily deserving.

Increased public and private sector fraud that is putting more money into pockets of ordinary Kenyans.

So are we as Kenyans ready for zero to negative economic growth as corrupt economic systems and structures are deconstructed and overhauled?

Are we ready for the inconvenience of attending court over a simple speed ticket?

Are we ready for the hefty fines due to overlapping on our crowded streets?

Are we ready to not get jobs despite our brothers,sisters, uncles and aunts being the hiring authority?

Are we ready for 'boring' political campaigns that are very short on cash but long and heavy on policy?

Are we ready for the tantrums of our kids when we send them to the shop and don't reward them with lollipops for doing what they should do?

Do we appreciate the fact that it is this simple lollipop that graduates to 10% of every tender awarded when they are all grown and in positions of power?

Do we realise that in a democracy a government is for the people, of the people and by the people and so a corrupt government is in all its forms effectively reflective of a corrupt citizenry?

Are we prepared to vote in leaders based on their track records of professional excellence and community service as opposed to people whose only claim to fame is major corruption scandals?

Are we ready for reduced salaries because you cannot enjoy the convenience of a fully serviced official car and still draw transport allowance?

Until all the answers to these questions are sincerely in the affirmative, let us Kenyans not lie to ourselves that we are fighting corruption.

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