According to the chairman of the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) of Kenya, Mr. Philip Kinisu , Kenya loses about Kshs. 608 Billion ( 6 Billion USD) to corruption. In his exclusive interview with Reuters and as quoted in the local dailies, Mr. Kinisu released that Bombshell. That is a third of the Kenyan annual budget… in simpler terms, for every Kshs. 100 budgeted for 30 shillings go to corruption. As expected, the National treasury has disputed that with the CS Henry Rotich saying it is issues to do with paperwork rather than real loss. In response to this question on KTN TV check point on Sunday the 12th March 2016, after being asked by the presenter Yvonne Okwara, Mr. Kinisu said that he would not like to be engaged in the debate as to whether it is 600 Billion or 1 Billion because the bottom line is that tax payers money is being stolen…. I agree.
Quite frankly this is not news to me…and I guess to many other Kenyans including the ever nosy Kenyan media…as you can see the story has just fizzled out. My experience in government taught me one thing, the famous AIE ( Authority to Incur Expenditure) is the money for the boss to eat and share with whomever (s) he deems fit. No questions asked…if the auditors ask, just set aside something aside to sort them out….the story goes on and on. I have always wondered why it is news when the auditor general reports point to audit queries showing that money has been lost here or there… in fact news would be if an audit showed that all the money was well spent because that can not be true.
If you imagine that in a small office with about 8 Million Shillings allocation for routine issues like fuel, electricity and so forth only about 2-3 M would be used for actual business of government, then you take similar pattern to an office with Billions then the report by Mr. Kinisu is really true. I dare say this could even be more. This probably explains why private enterprises in Kenya keep thriving while public agencies keep diminishing….high rise buildings adjacent to stinky dilapidated sewerage system and potholed roads. According to the Knight Frank Wealth report 2016, Kenyan Dollar Millionaires rose to over 8500 in 2015. Although there are many genuine rich people, it is possible that a huge chunk of these Dollar millionaires are corruption millionaires. There is big relationship between Power and money in Kenya. Public offices are used to steal from the public then share a little with them in the name of hand outs during political campaigns to acquire more power and more wealth.
The sad story is that even Mr. Kinisu agrees that the fight against corruption in Kenya is not one commission’s job…it is a fight for all Kenyans, including the thieves unfortunately. The other day I was in my village and my mother was so furious with the MCA….reasons? he is stealing from them. I asked what they intend to do and she told me that she will not vote for MCA slot but will vote for the MP, and President. I told her the solution would be to vote but vote for another person…although not sure if that other person will not follow suit in the stealing.
Anyway, the bottom line is that we are a corrupt country…very corrupt indeed. This has been confirmed by the CEO of Kenya in his address to Kenyans in Israel recently. This is a tragedy and it seems that citizenry thinks they are powerless. The truth is we have the power to stop this grand theft by voting the right people into power. Not from our tribes but from anywhere as long as they are women and men of integrity. Tanzania seems to have gotten it right. Hope President Magufuli maintains the tempo. My fellow Kenyans, thieves have no other tribe…their language and tribe is stealing. The idea that there can be our thief is really crazy and needs to be killed once and for.
Every time I attend forums of foreign investors in Kenya corruption is cited as one of the major reasons why such companies may consider relocating their investments from Kenya. It is a serious economic killer. Yes a few guys will be very wealthy but the majority will continue to get poorer. We need to get angry enough and do what we must do to redeem our country from his monster that is devouring us quickly and surely. Yes we can do it if we are ready for it.