By John kiilu
TO WIN THE WAR ON CORRUPTION IN AFRICA: The cancer of corruption has been with us for far too long and there seems to be no cure in near future since we have always being treated to charades.
This makes us look like total orphans after paying multiple taxes, since the government agencies that are tasked to fight the cancer of corruption have been left to chase storms by waiting around, being patience in a bid to avoid the untouchables as the web of corruption is intricate and most of those involved are really well connected.
we have good examples of high profile cases of corruption that have remained under investigation for too long and no tangible results up-to date. This has made the Ethics and Anti-corruption, office of the director of public prosecution and the director of criminal investigation to appear like they are elephant washers.
All said and done, for us to defeat the cancer of corruption there has to be a mutual understanding and respect between the three agencies of government and an unfettered support from the three arms of government.
we also need to come up with a water tight systems on how to protect witnesses from intimidation and elimination so that the cases are strong and implicating. The Executive arm of the government has been at the fore front led by His excellence the President but of late a lot of attention is channeled to fight against covid-19 hence little is done on matters corruption.
“Am urging the President that immediately after the Covid-19 Pandemic is over, he should summon the heads of the two agencies(DCI & ODPP) and sort out the differences between the two for the war to proceed in the right direction and with much need speed since their differences benefits the corrupt!
It is very important to ensure that the money that is lost through corruption is minimized from a third of our current budget (3.2 trillion) and such proceeds be spend prudently by funding projects with positive economic impacts. This can only happen if there are no scape goats in this war against corruption hence the need to depoliticizing it.
I submit to us that during this era of jubilee government we have had many cases on corruption that are running up-to date but no high ranking officials have ever being incarcerated or spend their jail term, it is only in Kibaki government were such officials served their jail terms without mercy.
To combat corruption in these circumstances, there is a need for collective and coordinated approaches, such as reform coalitions or proactive alliances of like-minded organizations. By doing so we will arrive at judgements within a very short time since the prosecuting and the investigating agencies are not in competition anymore and the cases they present are water tight.
I also request the Parliament to review the punishment on corruption related cases and incorporate death penalty without parole. All corruption related cases to be prosecuted live and any other case in such a court be suspended until the corruption related cases are heard and determined and any officer dealing with corruption case be suspended from going for leave until the sentence is delivered. by doing so we will be heading in the right direction to defeat our enemy number one.
The death penalty will be a tough measure that will deter the guys with the knack or appetite of gaining (wealth without work-as one among the seven dangers to human virtue as averred by Mahatma Gandhi); this is the most unfortunate believe that most people have and which is a misguided. Mahatma Gandhi posited that wealth is a material possession by virtue of an economic activity and such must be obtained through hard work and by fair means which is not the case in our situation. These methods are unapproved by our society and involves no sacrifice rather sacrifices the rights of innocent fellow beings. Sacrifice in the form of use of energy, effort, personal resources, prestige and position brings wealth which satisfies our soul beyond just the body.
The wealth earned with handwork and honesty is much enduring than attained through unfair means. I can recall how several chairmen of Ethics and Anti-corruption commission exited the office since the corrupt guys had a way of fighting back in a bid to cripple their cases by making the commission moribund.
Most followers to politicians are driven by Pleasure without conscience in their pursuit of sensuality and gratification without responsibility to God, others, or one’s self. Pleasure is the only consideration. Pleasure cannot be taken as simply avoidance of pain; rather many times it is derived from the pain itself. As we delve much in this cancer of corruption the appointed commissioners and the members of public should always understand that the utilitarianism is the key word here and anything done in public or private sector must end up being good for the greatest number as advanced by Jeremy Bentham and John Stuart Mill who set forth the good with pleasure, so, like Epicurus, were hedonists about value.
They also held that we ought to maximize the good, that is, bring about ‘the greatest amount of good for the greatest number’. This shall be the guiding principal in all undertakings, serve as the antidote to moral decay and a repair to the social fabric that holds us together as Kenyans and by extend Africans. This is where we should ask ourselves the following questions;
- Was the handshake a solution to the problems we faced with Jubilee government or it came in to aggravate the matter and opportunity for self seekers?
- Is the blame game in the Jubilee government health for our country at this time of covid-19 pandemic?
- Why would corruption cases be dismissed for lack of evidence yet there are officers paid by the public to do their work, could it be they were compromised to water down the evidence or they are ignorant and have neglected their duties?
- Why would people arrested with evidence take one to two years even more without judgement?
- Why would people openly tell us so and so is corrupt and no statements recorded by the same people to be used by the police to build their cases since they are state witnesses, why would police and the respective agencies remain silent? Why more investigation for further evidence?
The above questions need to be answered for us Kenyans to slay the ghost of corruption once and for all.
In the fight against corruption knowledge is of essence and paramount. Knowledge is neutral by nature but can be used for both positive and negative purposes. When knowledge is without character it is used to harm someone, to attain power, to gain control and actually it is the folly of people seeking self-aggrandizement who are hell bend to do anything to nurse their egos irrespective of the repercussions.
It is common knowledge that character gives strength to do what is right, to hold ourselves and others accountable. It prevents us from taking unethical decisions which harm others interest. Knowledge is the basis for our actions and accurate knowledge produce justified actions.
As we look forward to a better Kenya we must reason and learn to live together as brothers and sisters and pursue our goals or we remain divided and perish together as fools(Mostly borrowed from Martin Luther King JR.) We have experienced politics and leadership without principals for long time. It is now imminent to us Kenyans and Africa at large to get to understand the meaning of politics without principals! “Politics without principles is betraying a King’s duties while in power and betraying, people’s voice while in opposition” as propounded by Mahatma Gandhi). We need to evaluate our leaders and politicians from time to time so that we can do away with those who practice politics without principals.
Gandhi envisioned that leadership at one time meant muscles as has been the case with police in most of our continent who always use force and brutality to solve issues which arises when people demonstrate for their rights like in Kariobangi and during electioneering times when votes are stolen because some leaders are hungry for power to enrich themselves or protect what they fear to lose!
Today things have changed and leadership means getting along with people which is now being exploited by the proponents of handshake who say that they want us to come together as a country since we have been divided along tribal lines for too long but fail to tell us who cultivated the culture of hatred and entrenched tribalism; so we ask ourselves is it skewed distribution of resources or politicians who whip up emotions by rallying their tribesmen and feeding them with false information for them to attain power? But we don’t need to ask them or overthink who are these people who benefit when there are chaos since we can see them and hear them!
As true Africans we need to built high integrity cultures which will help us percolate the problems of tribalism and corruption among other problems we face as a continent and make us understand that the voice of those holding power without ethics distorts realities, promotes culture of suspicion and biasness, negate values of society and denature natural behavior of the people, communities and society altogether.
Sacrifice is important as leaders and public servants to ensure that we mean what we say for us to progress and develop. we must ensure that the voice matches the video in this fight against corruption. In this era of information revolution and knowledge society, knowledge has become driving force for determining quality of other human activities. We shouldn’t be authors of our own misfortunes by electing thieves. As hypothesized by Prof. PLO Lumumba when he said. “We elect hyenas to take care of goats and when the goats are consumed, we wonder why”.
Let us fight corruption from all fronts and make use of knowledge since all other virtues as postulated by Mahatma Gandhi in his seven social sins paper clearly opine that true and refined knowledge is the solution to win the the war against corruption. We should pair knowledge with commitment, industriousness, humanity, morality and integrity hence yielding the desired results for the great benefit for all.
©️ John Kiilu
🖋 The author is a Master’s Student at The Management University of Africa. The views expressed in this article are his own; firstname.lastname@example.org