Corruption; Creating a corrupt free Kenya
It is amazing that Kenyans are voted the most optimistic people in the continent of Africa, while on the contrary the country is ranked high as a consistent haven of Corruption. Isn’t that a worrying trend, especially when Kenya is at the forefront in advocacy of a unified East African Community?
Corruption refers to any misuse of power or position of trust in order to gain an undue advantage. What does this really mean? In simple terms, if a person with responsibility or position of trust seeks or camouflages directly or indirectly to gain undue advantage over others then this abuse and conduct is Corruption.
We always want to give monstrous names to Corruption some will refer Corruption in Kenya as a huge mountain to climb, a beast that can never be killed and so on and so forth. Corruption comes in many forms such as cronyism, nepotism, extortion, patronage, bribery, graft, embezzlement, brain washing etc.
Corruption in Kenya is slowing the EAC from taking off
Recently, in a certain forum a senior Tanzanian government official was heard saying and I quote “Jumuia ya Afrika mashariki ni jambo zuri sana lakini, twaogopa wakenya wasije wakatunyanganye mashamba yetu, pia wasije kutuambukiza ukabila.” This means that Kenyans are likely to transfer their culture of tribalism and Corruption to the East African Community, and that they are potential land grabbers.
Probably the fear is due to the nature in which Corruption has always been handled with a lot of impunity, and this is likely to be a major challenge in unifying the EAC and other potential countries that are likely to join.
Corruption is surely killing our beautiful and vibrant Nation, what an amazing country would we have, lets all join hands and fight against corruption.
The effects of Corruption in Nation building
Politically, Corruption is a major blow and obstacle for any meaningful change to the rule of law and development of stable democracies. “In 2007 through to 2008 we maimed and killed ourselves because of tribalism and politically corrupt leaders who were egoistic.’
“We cannot expect any miracles in 2012, if we are going to elect the same leaders who are engaged in Corruption, simply because they are our tribe’s men. You cannot plant a mango seed and expect it to produce apple fruits. And so you cannot plant a seed of a corrupt leader and expect it to produce anything better,”
“I am ashamed of going to watch news on TV because I cannot stand watching some of this corrupt political leaders misleading and convincing the public as if they were clean. I would rather wait and later read information about them. That way I will feel better.”
Economically, Corruption destroys any intended growth of a nation. It therefore leads to the depletion of national wealth and hinders the development of market structures distorting any meaningful competition which in effect deters investments.
We are witnessing, a commonality of stalled projects due to Corruption perfected by corrupt officials in charge of these projects. Monies from public coffers have been mismanaged and culprits of Corruption are proudly walking with courage and impunity. Corruption has also not spared private companies from these corrupt individuals.
“When individuals steal money that is meant to buy books for our school going children, while others steal medicine from our hospitals that is meant for the sick and they can comfortably get away with it then what kind of a nation is this?”
Socially, Corruption undermines peoples trust amongst each other and more so in the political systems in its institutions and leadership. This has further divided the country according to ethnic lines whereby when political cronies of particular ethnic group are alleged or have been involved in political Corruption they use their ethnic group to fight back.
This only aggravates hatred amongst communities rather than fight Corruption as a vice. While the Electioneering period is approaching it is shocking that Kenyans are consciously or subconsciously entertaining leaders with alleged criminal cases or pending corruption cases simply because they come from their ethnic group.
Why then must we accommodate Corruption and other criminal vices by associating with corrupt leadership? We are failing to allow justice to take its natural cause by attempting to put obstacles on the way. If we have to progress then ethnic factors must be put behind our backs.
Environmentally, Corruption perpetuates acts that will eventually lead to environmental degradation. Land grabbers especially those who acquired land from our forests and water catchment areas through Corruption threaten the entire humanity with environmental destruction that will see drought and hunger killing our people.
An overflow of Harmful chemicals and other products that are illegally exported from developed countries where they are no longer needed find their way in the country.
Police Corruption,We have seen Corruption leading to loss of lives by drivers who acquire driving licenses through corrupt ways and eventually cause an accident killing innocent people.
Our ‘christianness’ and the tag of Corruption
During the recent census approximately 32 million of Kenyans were recorded to be Christians. This is about 80 percentage of the population. What is shocking is that practically majority of the people involved in Corruption are ‘Christians.’
We are habitual Christians on Sundays when we go to our places of worship but immediately we are out of their, our ‘christianness’ disappears. Mahatma Gandhi once said that he loves Jesus Christ but dislikes Christians because their deeds do not portray anything similar to it.
Corruption is in our homes, our work places, our churches but at the end of the day it is greatest in our minds and hearts. See article on criminal minds in Kenya and you will realize how corruption has affected us
God hates Corruption and in the book of Isaiah 58, he clearly indicates to the Israelite s that he will not listen to their prayers and fasting as long as they continue in Corruption. He demands that all His people will get involved in fighting all forms of Corruption.
They must not give or receive bribes, they must not exploit or oppress the poor, they will not get in dubious deals especially when dealing with public procurement, and they will not misuse public funds whether in the secular or religious settings.
It is extremely difficult to end all forms of Corruption because of the nature in which it is internalized in some people that they accept it as a normal thing.
‘One day someone walked in a room that was engulfed with darkness, he found people grumbling and complaining about the darkness. He left the room and went to buy a candle; he lit the candle and light started shining. Suddenly the whole room became quiet and more people started lighting more candles.’
If all Gods people choose to light a candle of hope and reject Corruption, every where they go they will influence others then it shall surely die gradually.