From 2013 to 2018, there has been 40 known corruption scandals in Kenya which account for 567, 460, 000,000 Kenyan shillings. 40 corruption scandals, 0 convictions, 567,460,000,000 missing! This, according to Odipodev, 2018.
According to Transparency International, the worst performing countries in terms of corruption happen to be those in Sub-Saharan Africa. Kenya happens to be among these countries and we are sailing a nice 143 out of 180 in the most corrupt countries of the world. But effort is to be appreciated, at least we are at a lower index than South Sudan and Somalia; countries which up to now have no real form of governance. Africa is the notorious continent when it comes to corruption. I wonder why.
There have been major corruption scandals in Kenya. When I was young there was the Anglo-leasing and Goldenberg scandals which I didn’t quite understand. Then there was the NYS 2, NCPB scandals and so many more which I am old enough to understand. And these are the ones that the Kenyan Public is aware off or at least the ones that could not by-pass us. There are more.
Corruption and land grabbing seems to be part and parcel of our government officials job description. Almost every sector of public service carries a corruption department with it. The judicial system which is supposed to ensure that those who commit such crimes are punished is top of this list. Remember when a Supreme Court justice was accused of receiving a 200 million dollars bribe from a Nairobi governor?
Look at the Kenyan Police. So many times when I am seated next to the driver I see them put a 50 shillings note in their licence and hand it over to the police. I get so angry thinking of how we are packed like sardines and I had the idea that the police would stop the tout. The police are the most feared people in Kenya, not because of their ability to punish wrong doers but of the opposite. They are the guys that collude with gangs to rob Kenyans. There are still the people who incriminate citizens accusing them of crimes they haven’t committed and then come up with irrefutable evidence. These things they do, instead of providing “Utumishi Bora Kwa Wote.” At this time of my life I’d rather meet a thief than a policeman.
Can you imagine that there are customs official that accept bribes from Al-shabaab militants? You know what? I give up. Just thinking of the Garissa Attack that killed 148 students and imagining that there is a human being that let it happen makes me lose all faith in humanity. And oh holy the public procurement! Is there anything to say about this? For anyone to win a tender, they have to have greased a few hands.
The worst thing about all this is that the people, the masses who are supposed to fight against this have tolerated it and others are just in silence. So who will fight? Forget the government. Too busy thinking about who will run the country come 2022. Journalists have turned to writing crap and avoid any serious conversations. The university students who used to go out to the streets to fight evil are in silence. I am one of them. Some are just too scared to do anything about it. At the rate those who dare break the silence are being incarcerated for fake news and incitement, I would also be scared. The rest simply do not care because they are busy thinking about their families and their future. But what future is there if our country will have gone into the pockets of greedy people who care nothing about the masses?
Maybe there is hope. With countries like Cape Verde and Rwanda, you will see that corruption is quite manageable. Countries like Senegal and Cote d’Ivoire which had seen high corruption indexes for the longest time are now benchmarks for other countries fighting corruption due to the investments the countries have made against corruption. These countries, you will see, have dedicated funds and brains into anti-corruption. Is it possible for Kenya too?
I know in my last article I blamed the white men for bringing corruption to our country but we also have to take responsibility for the things we have done. I mean, we are not sheep, we are human beings with brains, who can be accountable for what we do. Look deep into your heart and conscience- if you still have it- and ask yourself if everything you do is free off corruption. What you are doing, is it adding fuel to the corruption fire or is it helping to extinguish it?