September 22nd 2017

Top Stories / 2017 Elections

Raila Odinga: Only the corrupt are thriving in Kenya today

Only the corrupt are thriving in Kenya. Corruption is the only industry doing well. But the administration feels nothing. The entire Cabinet is being rolled out at the expense of tax payers to rally votes for Jubilee in readiness for more plunder.

By Free Press Reporternewsdesk@kenyafreepress.comFriday, 27 Jan 2017 12:15 EAT

Mr Odinga addressing press at his home in Karen today.

CORD leader Raila Odinga today issued the following statement on new corruption scandals in the Jubilee government.

PRESS STATEMENT

I called you this morning to share my thoughts on the news that as a country, we have finally made it to the corruption super league where we are playing with long tested giants who are destined for collapse, and what this means to us.

In these last four years, Kenyans have been treated to much talk and high drama with regard to fighting corruption.

From signing an MOU with the US Government on fighting corruption, to tabling the List of Shame in Parliament, to the President announcing that all companies doing business with county and national governments must sign and adhere to a business code of conduct; to announcement that all customs and revenue officers will undergo a vetting exercise, and banks that break anti-money-laundering laws to forfeit their banking licenses while their directors will be held culpable for abetting money laundering, State House conferences on corruption, we have seen it all.

In the end, in the final months of the Jubilee regime, the evidence is all over the place that all that was just cheap talk. Like all public relations blitz, it was meant to dazzle and impress but achieve nothing except cover up for the thieves and it went on to achieve nothing.

But the cover up only worked for some time. Gimmicks never last. As the curtains come down on the Afro Cinema called the Jubilee regime, Kenya is at a breaking point on the issue of corruption.
The time for decisive action has long come and gone.
Even the eloquent, smooth and slick talkers have lost their tongues.

In the latest Transparency International report, Kenya has returned to the Super league of corruption, listed among the 20 most corrupt countries in the world, alongside big players like Bangladesh, Cameroon, The Gambia, Madagascar and Nicaragua.

One would expect some outrage from an administration that claims it is failing because the Opposition is on its neck.

Yet the President has chosen to play blind and mute on a scourge that is clearly spreading its tentacles around the nation and getting more people into deeper poverty and misery while paralyzing public services.

We are gravitating towards the failed state status. Except Uganda and Madagascar, all the countries below Kenya in the corruption index are failed and failing states.

With a score of 25 on a scale of zero to 100 — where zero is perceived to be highly corrupt and 100 very clean, we are in the scramble for the rock bottom.

That should concern an administration. It should occasion an emergency meeting of the Cabinet, even if that is where the thieves gather as is the case in our country.

As we speak, Jubilee is syndicating 800 million dollars to international bank loans not for development but to plug the holes that their looting has created. 

The day of reckoning is here with us. Those who thought it would never come can now see for themselves. Companies are retrenching daily. The stock market is in free fall. The shilling is being propped up by massive Central Bank of Kenya interventions, to the extent of gagging market analysts from making exchange rate forecasts. Many government suppliers have not been paid for a year or more. Many suppliers are facing financial ruin as banks recall loans they cannot pay. 

Only the corrupt are thriving in Kenya. Corruption is the only industry doing well. But the administration feels nothing. The entire Cabinet is being rolled out at the expense of tax payers to rally votes for Jubilee in readiness for more plunder.

Kenyans have waited in vain for action on thefts of the billions of public money, the banking frauds, the apparent money laundering schemes and the penalization of the thieves that have made life so miserable to so many. It is hope against hope. We know nothing will be done.

In these final days, Kenyans can only expect that Jubilee will pull more schemes to steal more money. We can only expect more last minute tenders to put more money into the hands of tenderpreneurs who have been supplying us with air these past four years.

We can only expect that Presidency, which is the patron for the corruption cartels and racketeers in and around the government will smoothen the infrastructure for more corruption.

We expect the administration to invent more excuses for engaging in corruption in addition to the one the President invented this week-that it is Raila Odinga stopping him from doing what is right.

The most painful thing about this Jubilee corruption is the unfairness of it all to future generations. It is satanic that as every Kenyan child is born with a debt of KSH 90,000, the children of the thieves and the racketeers are being born with a fortune of billions of our own stolen money.

It is very cynical that the Biblical concept of the year of Jubilee was that there would be a return of property that had been taken away, that people would be set free from slavery and debt. Instead, Jubilee has come to mean the plunder of the birth right of our unborn children and the slavery of their parents.

As we sink deeper, we can only appeal to Kenyans never to give up but to reflect very seriously as we head to elections on what change you can expect from Jubilee.

Kenyans deserve an administration of the people and for the people, that is close to the people’s burdens and problems, that is courageous and unapologetic in defending the rights and the expectations of the people and that is keen be the people’s shield against abuses of power.

This one has failed. Let us count our losses and move forward wiser as we prepare for elections.

In the meantime, we expect President Uhuru Kenyatta to tell us the status of our country, how he got us there and where he thinks he is taking us.

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