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22nd of July 2018

Kenya News

Is Jubilee party set to implode?

In 1972 then Finance minister Mwai Kibaki invited an International Labour Organisation team of experts to help study Kenya’s unemployment and income inequalities and make recommendations on how to confront the rising evidence of skewed distribution of economic development.

The report in retrospect is prophetic, “We realise action may be difficult—politically, administratively, financially and psychologically. It may represent a break with familiar traditions and offend or hurt sectional interests. But when the cost of action is weighed, we plead that the cost of inaction(s) also be considered...the cost of dealing with problems may be much higher when they pass the threshold of what is considered tolerable.”

Procrastination, inaction and the fear to initiate action has been the bane of successive Kenyan governments to tackle corruption. In some instances, government has actively condoned corruption leading to the miserable situation in the country currently.

Kenya has now become the country of fakes and counterfeits courtesy of an all-embracing culture of corruption. Recent reports have revealed shocking details of fake products circulating in the Kenyan market. These include but are not limited to contaminated sugar, cooking oil, food seasoning, cosmetics, motor vehicle spare parts, yoghurt, cheese, medicines, cables, decoders, tomato sauce, juices and alcoholic drinks.

People are left wondering where were government and quasi-government agencies such as the Kenya Revenue Authority, Kenya Bureau of Standards and Immigration when all those contrabands were being smuggled into the country. What is the real cost to the country in economic terms?

Former US Vice President Joe Biden had the following to say, “Corruption is a cancer, a cancer that eats away at a citizen’s faith in democracy, diminishes the instinct for innovation and creativity; already tight national budgets, crowding out important national investments. It wastes the talent of entire generations. It scares away investments and jobs. And, most importantly, it denies the people their dignity. It saps the collective strength and resolve of a nation. Corruption is just another form of tyranny.”

Hard working Kenyan taxpayers are aghast at the current levels of corruption, which are intolerable. Any further delays in ridding Kenya of corruption and we are in danger of losing the country to cartels.

  President Uhuru Kenyatta has taken the very bold step of attempting to tackle the corruption menace. The response of corruption cartels has been frightening. Brickbats have been subtly and covertly thrown at none other than the first family. His brother, uncle and even father are being drawn into the corruption web in an attempt to sabotage the process.

The Jubilee Party itself appears set to implode on account of the anti-corruption crusade. Who are these dark forces out to blackmail and threaten the presidency? And if he is not safe, then who of us is safe? Mercifully, the President refused to succumb to threats and blackmail and called their bluff of prosecuting his brother.

By all appearances Kenya is about to pay a very high price for procrastinating on the war on corruption. One can only imagine what would have happened had government acted on the ILO report in 1972. Corruption would have been nipped in the bud and the cartels would not have entrenched. Currently they have deep roots and pockets and are spread through every fibre of our community.

The President has an arduous task ahead of him and deserves the support of every right-thinking Kenyan. It is refreshing to note that opposition leaders Musalia Mudavadi, Kalonzo Musyoka and Moses Wetang'ula have rallied behind the President. Raila Odinga, currently standing on “no man's’ land politically, is also in support of the process.

The talk from the URP wing of Jubilee that the crusade against corruption is aimed at the Deputy President is disturbing. Is Senator Kipchumba Murkomen insinuating that the DP is corrupt? So far nobody has overtly accused the DP of corruption, so why the hullaballoo? With friends like that the DP does not need enemies. That the DP has agreed to subject himself to a lifestyle audit is indeed welcome.

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