Monthly Archives: August 2015

Kenyans Needs an Anti-corruption High Priest

Raila and Ruto

“You know you are in trouble when a fellow thief accuses you of stealing!” these are words from an article by Michela Wrong titled “Everyone is corrupt in Kenya, even grandmothers” published by Foreign Policy magazine (May 6, 2014). A strong accusation from the writer! But was she saying the truth? Has Kenya lost its moral ground on corruption and is there a Kenyan who can stand and be counted as not being corrupt? Is there anyone who doesn’t have a corruption plank in his eye who is worthy of removing a speck in the eye of his/her brother in Kenya?

As we continue to ponder on these questions, a few days ago we got to experience a drama casting the former Prime Minister Raila Odinga and the Deputy President. One calls the other the “high- priest of corruption” and the other through his close proxies calls the other “the lord of poverty”. Factions of supporters from the two camps immediately emerged threatening to release dossiers implicating either the former Prime Minister or Deputy President. As the two “drama queens” continue to issue threats and accusations on each other, I remembered of a story I was told of a village elder, his wife and a white missionary. The village elder’s wife got pregnant and when she gave birth the baby was “colored” meaning that the village elder was definitely not the father.

In shock and in disbelief the village elder summoned the missionary and asked him why he did such a treacherous act. The missionary denied the allegations despite the evidence and gave the following explanation, “You know God is full of surprises, He created heaven and earth, day and night, sun and moon and also if you look close at the white sheep that you own, one of its lamb is black”.. The village elder immediately interjected the missionary and whispered to him, “How did you know I am the reason behind the white sheep giving birth to the black lamb?” Both were guilty of devious acts thus forcing the village elder to accept the “colored” child only if the missionary won’t disclose the issue of the black lamb.

The moral of the story is that the alleged “lord of poverty” and “high priest of corruption” are not clean, including their so called cronies. They both represent the “black” opposition and the “colored” government. This shows that corruption is an enigma and by all means it needs to be declared as a national disaster. The reason why corruption cases such as Golden-berg, Anglo-leasing, maize scandal, Kazi kwa vijana scandal, Grand Regency saga, Triton Scandal, and many others have not yet been solved is that they all involve high ranking individuals from both the political and elite class within “colored” government and “black” opposition. Other than the high ranking corruption cases, we have the normal day to day corruption that most of us Kenyans are good at which is bribing. Sadly, the law enforcement agencies such as the police and the courts are the ones leading in this vice.

Currently, 4 of President Uhuru’s Cabinet Secretaries plus other high ranking officials within the government and parastatals are on suspension due to corruption allegation scandals. Unfortunately none of them will get prosecuted as some of these cases will lead to acquittal due to insufficient evidence. This is primarily caused by tampering of evidence by individuals from the law enforcement agencies who have been bribed. The cases of bribery and many other corrupt vices as per the corruption perceptions index 2013 published by Transparency International where scores were rated from 0(highly corrupt) to 100(very clean) resulted to Kenya scoring 27.

The score shows that Kenya is doing badly in fighting corruption. We look as if we are fighting corruption but in the real sense we are not. The so called whistle blowers within the political sphere and private sector are only doing that because they have been short changed in one of the deals and all they do now is cry foul. As a country we are trapped by the biggest cartels of corruption who happens to be our politicians. They have made us look bad and they have tainted the image of our grandmothers.

But we can change the narrative and save the image of our grandmothers. We can remove the plank of corruption within our systems by individually refusing to be corrupt, uphold the constitution and all our politicians need Jesus. Also amongst us there is a need of a new breed of anti-corruption high priests who are ready and willing to sacrifice for the sake of the nation. Is there someone listening?

Article by,

Dennis Mwaniki

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POTUS message to President Museveni

Obama-Museveni.gif

Last week president Uhuru Kenyatta made a state visit to our neighboring country Uganda. He made history by being the first African sitting president to address the Ugandan parliament. The visit was well choreographed after President Barrack Obama’s visit to Kenya. The script that is been played by the government is that President Uhuru’s visit to Uganda was primarily focused on the regional security, integration, deepening of bilateral trade, opening the markets between Kenya and Uganda by ensuring free movement of people, goods, labor and services and also elimination of trade barriers.

The two leaders (president Uhuru and Museveni) also agreed on developing oil infrastructure which includes the crude oil export pipeline which will take the northern route from Hoima to Lokichar in Turkana County and onwards to Lamu. The second pipeline will be that of refined products pipeline from Mombasa via Eldoret to Kampala. The oil infrastructure will be a reverse-flow petroleum product pipeline capable of transporting imported petroleum products to Uganda and also from the refinery in Uganda to Kenya.

So far the script of President Uhuru’s visit to Uganda seemed very legit. Covert diplomacy was well executed and no one seemed to get the real message and purpose of Uhuru’s visit. For the script/ covert diplomacy to be even real and sweet and avoid any suspicion, the government decided to throw in the sugar controversy/saga as a smoke screen. This sugar controversy was a free gift to the opposition and media from the government to keep them busy for some time so as to avoid them from speculating the real agenda which was clearly hidden in Uhuru’s speech to the Ugandan parliament.

The opposition with their lack of wisdom which happens to be their norm nowadays decided to politicize the whole sugar deal even after being told numerous times that there was no agreement signed between Kenya and Uganda. Meaning that the deal was based on a gentleman agreement terms. Any way let us not get carried away by the smoke screen deception but let’s focus on the real agenda.

The United States government has always carried themselves as the defacto inspector general on issues related to governance, rule of law and democracy across the globe. They have the power to set and direct policies governing any country without that country’s knowledge. They use the carrot and stick diplomacy. Where the carrot is in form of aid/Grants that they give and stick is in the form of ultimatums/conditions set before getting the aid/grants. During Moi’s era it was in form of retrenching civil servants. To other countries it comes in form of forcing change of governments and regimes like in the case of Libya.

Thus Uhuru’s visit to Uganda was based on a condition given before the Americans can open their goody bag and it was simply to deliver a message from Obama to President Museveni. The message was well coined and it had to be given in public and not in the confines of statehouse or a private phone call. The message was to be delivered in parliament in the presence of President Museveni. The message was, i) Museveni’s era/regime needs to come to an end and he needs to allow young generation to come in power, invest in them and not intimidate them, ii) He needs to allow full democracy in Uganda and that means allowing the opposition to have basic freedom to articulate their grievance and also play their role as watchdogs. iii) He needs to allow the will of the Uganda people to prevail and not allow rigging of elections or any other form of manipulation of the electoral systems.

This was the message that needed to be passed to Museveni and to some it may seem as a breach of Uganda’s sovereignty hence the use of covert diplomacy and smoke screens such as the sugar deal. The agreements and talks during Uhuru’s visit were just mere deception to protect the relationship between Uganda and Kenya. The question that we all need to ask, will Museveni adhere to the message given by “big brother” or will he play tough? Anything else emerging from Uhuru’s visit to Uganda is just but a mere deception.

Article by,

Dennis Mwaniki

Political Scientist

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