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February 17, 2019

Blame game won’t end graft

Blame game in corruption
Blame game in corruption

When thugs raid bank vaults, investigators should not be tracking the security guards who were at the scene of crime five years ago. They should begin investigations with the guards who stand sentry.

Blame-sharing cannot wash anarchic management of public funds.

The charade of partisan buck-passing, especially the official claim of skewed opposition condemnation of corruption, is an absurd endorsement of impunity.

It affirms official surrender to the politically correct lords of economic crimes.

The war on corruption is not about condemning economic crimes. Balanced censure of sleaze is not the antidote for corruption. Right-thinking citizens demand much more than criticism of corruption.

There is no such thing then as corruption among Jubilee or Cord counties. There is only one state, which holds the constitutional responsibility to secure the public interest.

There is only one government with the mandate to stop plunder of public funds.

We only have one national government that manages public affairs. There is also one elected governor in each of the 47 counties who is accountable to the electorate. The sour and soaring official excuses are diversionary.

The President often cites ‘my government’. The Deputy President often talks of ‘our government’ to assert authority or claim credit. Taking credit for wins should come with the courage to take responsibility for failures.

Politicising corruption in order to divert public attention is foolhardy. The skewed distinction between Cord or Jubilee counties when it comes to graft is also corrupt and diverts attention from official lethargy in the war on corruption.

The opposition can expose and condemn. They can also censure suspects of economic crimes.

This is about all they can do because they lack the wherewithal to go beyond condemnation. Asking the opposition to fight corruption in the counties which their governors control is abdication of mandate.

The government should go beyond condemnation. That Jubilee griot Aden Daule is still stuck in the condemnation mode affirms official helplessness, or complicity, in ascendant impunity.

The opposition have censured suspects of economic crimes for four years now. They exposed the Eurobond circus, where billions of shillings from offshore borrowing may have been lost.

The opposition rallied the electorate against the National Youth Service scandals where Sh1.6 billion is believed to have been lost. Much of the loot was carted away in sacks from protected banks, but the suspects are still strutting on the catwalk of impunity.

Deputy President William Ruto is lamenting; the peasants are also lamenting.

The opposition also exposed the alleged looting of Sh5.2 billion at the Ministry of Health, even as Jubilee-affiliated politicians defended the alleged theft. The gender of suspects is irrelevant.

There should be no justification for criminality. When opposition leader Raila Odinga exposed the NYS scandal two years ago, there was official denial. Duale, in griot mode, saw the whitsle-blowing as a plot to ‘’bring down the government’’.

He defended then Devolution CS Anne Waiguru like his life depended on a coverup. But it was impossible to fight facts with lies. When Waiguru resigned, thanks to Raila’s pressure, she fingered Duale as a beneficiary of the NYS scam.

Her initial official defender is now one of her accusers. But Duale is yet to learn from the fumble, even as his co-griot, Senator Kipchumba Murkomen, struggles to remove himself from the trap of corruption.

Exposure is the first step in the war on graft, and the opposition has done that. The next step should be robust investigations, arrests, prosecutions, convictions or acquittals. The state should facilitate this.

The economic crimes laws are not a hurdle. The independence of the investigative and prosecution agencies is not an excuse. The law can be changed to advance the public interest. The presidency has control over legislative numbers.

It can, if it mustered the will, originate legislative amendments to facilitate the war on economic crimes.

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