In 2012, then PS Treasury, Joseph Kinyua, alluded that we lose 1/3 of our national annual budget to corruption. Then our national annual budget was roughly KES 1.2Trillion which implies that we were losing approximately KES 400 Billion to corruption. While we pride in Thika Superhighway, monies lost through corruption in 2012 alone could have been enough for 10 ‘Thika’ superhighways! In one year only. Clearly, we could be having the amenities and infrastructure we see in Guangzhou, China or Singapore. Notice the 1/3 claim was not a pedestrian allegation – the statement was authoritatively made by the custodian of the public kitty then.
That’s why it is either hypocritical or sheer ignorance of the menace at hand for any Kenyan to start debating about the procedure the President followed in fighting corruption. This unfolding episode has a Jewish parallel 2000 years ago. Jesus healed a paralytic on a Sabbath day and the Pharisees pulled the law to carpet the Healer – their law did not allow anyone to work on a Sabbath. But Jesus was dealing with a serious human need – someone bound by paralysis since birth needed to be set free…all procedures at this juncture were irrelevant. The right thing had to be done – to give a captive a lease of life. Period.
Should the President have handed the list to DPP? Or should EACC have done the same? Give us a break and get real! We need to do the right thing – that is, to slaughter corruption though all genuine means possible. Urgently. One of the most reputed global surveys, the Bloomberg report indicated that we are now the 3rd fastest growing economy after China and the Philippines in the world. In addition, Kenya was rated the 7th best investment destination in the world. Suppose we tackled corruption and kept politics aside – me thinks, as a country, we would supersede the 10% growth rate and be the fastest growing economy in the world.
Corruption is the mother of insecurity in Kenya – as dangerous weapons were sneaked in through bribing at our ports of entry and illegal immigrants were cleared corruptly. The fight for resources has been the main cause of tribal clashes as some political leaders fight to reach the top to dig into public coffers – put it otherwise, corruption is the father of tribal clashes in Kenya. Corruption has condemned millions into abject poverty with no quality medi-care, safe drinking water and comfortable shelter. Let us look at corruption in its proper light and support any effort to curb the menace. Please understand that politicians focus on the next elections; leaders focus on the next generation. Therefore, do not allow corrupt government officials introduce that old adage, “watu wetu”. They stole as individuals. Not as a community. Together as a people, may we boldly stand against this monster and pass the baton of a freer, healthier, wealthier and stronger Kenya to the next generation.
Dr. Kinyanjui Nganga, PhD – Corporate Trainer and Motivational Speaker