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Saturday, July 21, 2007

How Corruption Was Launched In Kenya By The Executive

Some Kenyans believe that it is impossible to ever bring down corruption to manageable levels in the country. It would be useful at this juncture to take a closer look at the two incidents both approved by the executive that launched serious corruption in Kenya.

The first is the much-talked about Ndegwa commission that recommended that civil servants be allowed to indulge in business. The excuse of course was that there weren't too many qualified Kenyans then and the idea was to speed up development. What followed was chaos. How many civil servants since independence have become multi-millionaires by influencing the dishing out of key contracts to their own companies?

The second happened in parliament where an MP asked the government to release the names of those involved in a Cloves smuggling scandal in neighboring Zanzibar (part of Tanzania) where some prominent Kenyans had been involved. A courageous assistant minister then, Burudi Nabwera named names in parliament that included individuals very close to the Kenyatta cabinet. President Kenyatta had an opportunity then to make a firm statement against corruption in high places by sacking all those who were named. Instead they not only kept their jobs but became even more powerful in the country. In fact one of those named a Mr Mathenge slapped the scape goat charged in court and jailed over the incident, right along the corridors of the high court, in full view of dozens of witnesses. The rest as they say is history. By the time President Moi had established himself in the seat of power as the second President of Kenya, everybody knew that it was impossible to get any major investment into the country without bribing a cabinet minister or two.

As you read this, the vice is widespread and continues to slowly but surely squeeze the life out of the nation.

So how does the next administration start to deal with it? Is it a priority to deal with this? Or should tribalism and unemployment be tackled first? Those are the tough questions that the next administration needs to answer.

Can the incumbent's administration handle these crucial questions at hand? Kenyans can judge for themselves from what has happened over the last five years in which corruption rose to new heights with the Angle Leasing scum.

Can the ODM brigade handle it if they form the next government? With the likes of Henry "killed Kenya National Assurance" Kosgei, William "YK92" Ruto, Sally "Pending court case" Kosgei, Musalia "Goldenberg" Kosgei, Kalonzo "Hide In The Toilet To avoid taking a tough vote" Musyoka, William "corrupt tribal clashes inciter" Ntimama etc., you tell me if it will be possible. If it is possible to change a lion to a gazelle by putting a "gazelle coat" over them, then I am sure that ODM will tackle the major issues before the nation which cannot wait.

In my view two things stand in the way of genuine change in Kenya;

I) The belief by most Kenyans that not anybody can be president of Kenya, just like not anybody can be queen or king of England. You have to be born in the right family—in the case of England, the royal family.

II) Talk is cheap and Kenyans are mostly whining cowards who talk a lot and want change but are not prepared to pay even a fraction of the price required of then for that change.

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