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Political Persecution or representation of one among many: Kalonzo Musyoka Foundation

By Pamba Ouma | May 5th 2017
On Tuesday, the NGO Coordination Board made a surprise move of freezing the accounts of the Kalonzo Musyoka Foundation and stopping their operations. The Mohammad Fazul led Board alleged an unaccounted amount of up to 146Million Shillings from the accounts of the foundation.

Kalonzo Musyoka who was recently named the National Super Alliance deputy flag bearer came out strongly and termed the action as 'political prosecution.' He went further to term it as witch hunt from the second in command in the Jubilee administration, the Deputy President William Ruto. In a rejoinder, the office of the Deputy President issued a statement telling Kalonzo to take care of his personal problems without unnecessarily diverting attention.

There are various dimensions to the whole of this issue.

To begin with, this circus exposes laxity of the NGO Coordination Board. As at last year (2016), there were close to ten thousand registered NGOs with about two thousand of them inactive. Well, this is a big number for the board to administer and coordinate effectively but for the foundation to unnoticeably misappropriate such a huge chunk of donations shows the chances that the board is sleeping on its job and monitoring is not being done effectively. Of course, it didn't happen overnight. It took time.

Secondly, singling out Kalonzo Musyoka Foundation especially at such a moment leaves many questions unanswered. It's very easy for the allegations to be downplayed politically even if they hold waters and have enough truth in them to prove a case because the prima facie assertion is that it is a politically designed. Seemingly Kalonzo has picked this direction and many Kenyans are likely to believe and even empathise with him.

With such questions as ones raised by Kalonzo yesterday and the above issues are subjected to discussion, the integrity of the Board is put on line. Redeeming it can take ages. Of course, we all know the perception that has haunted the EACC the IEBC and the National Lands Commission since their integrity fell under scrutiny at one time or another.

I would personally advice the NGO Coordination Board to go out there for other NGOs. Only a serious crackdown will aid them prove the point they are out to prove. Let them get the Kenyans who come across scams in the name of NGOs regain their trust in them. There are so many known NGOs and Foundations being run like Kiosks all over Kenya but the biggest surprise is the reluctance of the Board subjecting them to queries.

Mr. Fazul ought to finish what he has started -proving allegations against Kalonzo- or go down in history wrongly like we have seen many do. On the other hand, Kalonzo should be exonerating himself or bear the tag of "con" through to the election moment.

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