In last many months of last year and the better part of this year so far, all media in Kenya has been awash with screaming headlines about corruption. Right from the National Youth service saga, Eurobond money, police vetting and the now trending Supreme Court judge. In fact, there was one that almost got missed: that Kenya has for the record time remained in the list of one of the most corrupt countries in the world at position 139 out of 168 countries featured in the Transparency International (TI) report 2015.
I have always wondered, if indeed as a country, we are as corrupt as always spoken about and always prayed it is not true. However, all fundamentals show that indeed we are corrupt…in fact very corrupt! The TI report is indeed damning not only for Kenya but many others. According to this report…Sixty-eight per cent of countries worldwide have a serious corruption problem. Half of the G20 are among them. Not one single country, anywhere in the world, is corruption-free… the report further says that poor countries like Kenya and a couple others lose USD 1 Trillion every year to corruption!
The allegations of corruption and bribery against the Supreme Court judge, the Hon. Justice Tonui, now being labeled the supreme corruption by some sections of the press, is mind boggling. I must say from the onset that this is a matter under investigation and we are yet to ascertain the truth about this entire saga. The figures being mentioned, 2 Million USD or about Kshs. 200 Million makes one shake his head in disbelief. Arguing from a hypothetical position…if indeed such money was given to the judge by the said governor then this defies logic and basic tenets of sound financial management. A governor in Kenya earns between 1 Million to 2 million at most (in fact it is much less). It would therefore not make any sense that one can invest Kshs. 200 Million to earn at most Kshs. 120! That in business is a total loss….well, you may say it is not about the money but then you will have to tell me it is about what?
In fact my argument is this is about money and more money….corruption as its core. The truth is, most of those in authority, especially those in county governorship, are on a looting spree. If one can pay a bribe of such magnitude, then is obvious that they will make much more thorough their ‘investment’. We have seen characters that were nondescripts before being elected into offices now living like real new rich…of course all this is abetted, encouraged and even celebrated by the citizens who are actually the victims. As long as the thief shares some crumbs with them…then that is ‘our man….our thief indeed’
I can’t fathom how such state of affairs continues unabated. In this country, citizens suffering from cancer are dying slowly, surely and painfully because the radiology machines at the Kenyatta National Hospital (KNH) are either too few, broken down or non-existent. People are on the waiting for almost 0ne year to get chemotherapy! Surely that is hell on earth….and that is while the elite take pricey nyama choma in high end places and washing it away with the most expensive wine and champagne! This cannot be normal…something is terribly amiss because we all seem to have accepted the system and just trying to find a place to fit to have our bite at the cherry if we are lucky.
I think the day we get angry enough about this corruption is the day we will liberate ourselves. 2015 may have signaled something to that end is what the chair of Transparency international, Jose Ugaz said is true…. “The 2015 Corruption Perceptions Index clearly shows that corruption remains a blight around the world. But 2015 was also a year when people again took to the streets to protest corruption. People across the globe sent a strong signal to those in power: it is time to tackle grand corruption”

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