“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?