February 25th 2018

Opinion / Commentaries

To fight drugs, Uhuru should first deal with corruption that enables it

Attempting to deal with the drug problem before first eliminating its enabler (corruption) is akin to plucking the leaves from a tree and leaving the tree in its fairest weather. The leaves will definitely grow again.

By David OsianyTuesday, 07 Feb 2017 11:16 EAT

The president supervised the torching of drugs in 2014.

After four years of failure, the Jubilee government has once again owned up to failing to fight drug cartels decisively. Unfortunately theirs is an admission of failure, not with the aim of addressing the menace, but rather to cunningly eliminate political threat.

I am the greatest proponent for firm and decisive action against drug cartels. I want us to rid our nation of the drug problem before we get to the sorry levels of Mexico and Colombia. However, I first want us to deal with the catalyst in this business. I want us to deal with the real problem that necessitates the menace. I want us to first sort out corruption. Attempting to deal with the drug problem before eliminating its enabler (corruption) is akin to plucking the leaves from a tree and leaving the tree in its fairest weather. The leaves will definitely grow again.

You see the sudden thought by the president to deal with the drugs problem, and the firmness in his voice, is the same attitude with which I want Uhuru to handle other vices. I find it morally dishonest to point a finger at drug dealers (real or imagined) when the principal secretary for the Ministry of Health Nicholas Muraguri stays in office even after glaring revelations of his being involved in inadvertently awarding tenders to another corrupt sister of the president.

I find it dishonest for the president to suddenly remind us how drug barons are messing up our young ones, yet the president and his deputy preside over the worst heists ever witnessed on this land! The amounts lost under their watch would be impactful towards achieving a better youth for Kenya.

The amounts looted under Jubilee regime would have transformed several lives, provided millions of employment opportunities; ensured each county has a sufficiently equipped level 6 hospital; built enough main and feeder roads; paid doctors, teachers and the police decently; improved the state of universities in Kenya by enhancing research and much more. What do they do instead? They conveniently choose to ignore their part in actively destabilising the nation, and attempt to gain a moral high ground of fighting drug barons.

Can the president tell us who is responsible for killing our elephants and illegally trading in ivory? A British newspaper had once stated that the Kenyatta family was involved back in the day. Are they still? Can both Uhuru and Ruto point to us the greatest beneficiaries of Eurobond? Or they think we buy the World Bank rubbish that it even reached our borders?

What has happened to NYS looters including Ruto's handymen and Uhuru's own relations named in the matter? Do they think we should instead clap for those? Who are the beneficiaries of our galant soldiers kept in Somalia and constantly ferried home in caskets because of an inept government that could not even provide them with arms? Is it the common Kenyan or the Duales of this world?

Doesn't Uhuru have sufficient evidence to deal with these too? And heck, who defied the courts to proceed and pay Anglo-leasing fraudster in billions citing nonsensical reasons for that bold and destructive step? Oh sorry. That too must have been done by Uhuru Kenyatta in the interest of the nation the same way billions of dollars have been borrowed and swindled around.

Our war against all ills must be honest. We cannot speak from both sides of the cheek. Uhuru's 'love' for Kenya's youth must start by what is within his reach to do. How many youth are in the cabinet? How many are PSs? How many are parastatal chiefs? How many are diplomats? If the president is serious about fixing Kenya, he has to deal with its ills wholesomely.

This means locking up his own kin whose names are ubiquitously mentioned in every other corrupt or not-so-straight deal. Doing that first would let Kenyans know that he means business. Thereafter, he can reach out for the jugular of drug barons, who in any event have infiltrated the very state apparatus he would use to fight the menace.

The writer, a governance consultant, is an aspirant for the Rongo parliamentary seat. He formerly served as director for youth affairs for the CORD presidential campaign secretariat in 2013.

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