February 25th 2018

Opinion / Commentaries

No ifs or buts... Jubilee has lost the war against graft spectacularly

A leader, even in the toughest of the life-trying moments, must not be seen to drive people to wilderness of despondency and spine-tingling hopelessness. Sadly though, this is where the president is predictably trying to take us, Kenyans, if his recent statements are anything to go by.

By Athanas Kipchumbaakipchumba@kenyafreepress.comWednesday, 02 Nov 2016 07:33 EAT

Had the ruling coalition been demonstrably serious about the fight against corruption in Kenya, it would have honestly given the much needed political will, to the constitutionally created independent institutions mandated to take up arms against graft. Instead of working in unity with the Ethics and Anti-corruption Commission (EACC), the current regime has deployed its “faceless forces” to throw the monkey wrench in the works, as far as the war against corruption is concerned.

This, in my highly contemplated view, means that the Jubilee administration is hell-bent on undermining the war against corruption, behind the curtains. It's instructive to note that this social vice, under the ruling political alliance has moved a notch higher, to the horrendous detriment of the already overburdened taxpayers! This stings to the core.

Just some couple of weeks ago, the president categorically expressed his frustration over the snowballing corruption happening under his watch. He laid blame squarely, if you are smart enough to read between the lines of his thinly veiled tirades, on the other arms of government, particularly the Judiciary. The judiciary was castigated by the country's CEO for “dragging its feet” on the anti-graft war. Which beggars the question: who is to blame for sabotaging the war against the deeply-rooted corruption in our motherland?

Honestly speaking, our president, His Excellency Hon Uhuru Kenyatta, is playing to the gallery. His tendency to shift blame from post to pillar, with the  miscalculation that he would not be held accountable as the topmost leader of this nation for the runaway corruption, is palpably unacceptable and should be construed as a sign of incompetence. A leader, even in the toughest of the life-trying moments, must not be seen to drive people to the wilderness of despondency and spine-tingling hopelessness. Sadly though, this is where the president is predictably trying to take us, Kenyans, if his recent statements are anything to go by.

On the eve of the State House summit, I had read in the mainstream media that some anti-graft heavyweights like Mr John Githongo, the razor-sharp economist Dr David Ndii among others were invited besides other high-ranking government officials. Conspicuously, Mr Githongo and Dr Ndii did not show up for the somewhat impromptu summit.

Their unsettling absence left many a political pundits swinging on the pendulum of hypothesis, conjecturing about anything within the figment of their imaginations. Many observers opined that the duo feared they, by design, could be reduced to  punching bags by the seemingly miffed president. Or it could be that they knew all the top man in the chain of the country's command structure was doing is an exercise in public relations stunt. Whether that was true or not doesn't trouble me.

All the president ought to comprehend is, his actions must speak louder than his words. Persistent whines and complaints won't solve these corruption -related issues. It takes a leader in the person of the president to mercilessly unleash his or her political force against the well-connected corrupt cartels plus their political elites across the political divide, if the anti-corruption battle must be won, at the chink of dawn! And yes, this is within the realms of possibility, your Excellency.

I have personally analysed our current president. In my opinion, the scion of our founding father Jomo Kenyatta is not corrupt. But those who are in his inner sanctum are irredeemably corrupt. This is the grotesque contradiction defining his leadership. Does this, therefore, mean that his administration should not be held accountable for directly or indirectly abetting or greasing the wheels of corruption? A resounding no. History will judge him the harshest as one of the Kenyan presidents whose regime watered the plants of corruption with gritty determination, like never before, since  post-colonial history.

The cheapest and superficial arguments that the president, under the new constitution has no power to combat graft doesn't hold water .This is one of the laziest arguments one could bandy around, so recklessly. The powers that the president has under the current dispensation is enough to address the mulish issue of graft that has imprisoned our national development and stagnated if not slumped our economic growth!

Therefore, anyone who claims the president has no powers to confront corruption head on must stop throwing dust in our eyes. As I have said again and time without number, that only a person coming from alternative universe may be allowed, to temporarily  make us believe, that the new constitutional order has rendered the president impotent, politically speaking.

It is time the the Jubilee administration realised that its five year term is almost expiring. And yes, the UhuRuto regime have to be cognizant of the fact that corruption has uncontrollably brought more harm than good to larger segment of the citizenry. The vice has harboured exclusion-ism and favouritism. Through corruption, the seeds of marginalisation are widely sown, nepotism rears its ugly head and deep sense of full-blown desperation, particularly among the youth[which I have severally witnessed many youth seeking for elusive employment opportunities]leading many of them to fall prey to con artists gathers crushing momentum.

If the recent graft developments that have put the Jubilee government to defensive positions is worth noting, am now cock-sure that under the current administration of Jubilee the war against corruption won't be won, at least any time soon! All the government is doing is nothing short of the bark but no bite.

Kipchumba is a staff writer/columnist at the Kenya Free Press

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