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January 16, 2019

ELIUD KIBII: All Jubilee politicians should back Uhuru’s crackdown on graft

Elgeyo Marakwet Senator Kipchumba Murkomen and MP speak with a settler evicted from the Mau Forest, Thursday, July 19, 2018. /KIPLANG'AT KIRUI
Elgeyo Marakwet Senator Kipchumba Murkomen and MP speak with a settler evicted from the Mau Forest, Thursday, July 19, 2018. /KIPLANG'AT KIRUI

Corruption fights back, and already, we are seeing President Uhuru Kenyatta’s efforts being sabotaged by some quarters.

Within his party, Jubilee, we have seen and heard politicians, some in its leadership, speaking against some of these directives — lifestyle audit and reclaiming riparian land—, which is outright defiance of their party leader.

While this is a democracy and everyone has freedom of speech, I don’t understand why they are opposing such an initiative. Of course, I also have my reservations about how its is being done and whether it will be sustained, but give credit where its due. Someone has started it off. Admittedly, the Big Four agenda will not kick off if billions of shillings continue disappearing.

So, if we have a chance of winning the fight against corruption, what is the best way to do it? As much as we are working on reforms in the Judiciary, the police, the land sector, state agencies and so on, it is unfortunate to note these processes themselves are not as transparent and accountable as they should. More needs to be done to sustain the crackdown by the DCI and the DPP.

The other problem is the politicians who are fighting against this initiative and propagating 2022 politics.

The majority of the political class are beneficiaries of graft. Manifested in how Prof Patrick Lumumba was handled during his last days as the Chairman of the Kenya Anti-Corruption Commission. In August 2011, MPs ganged up against KACC, which was chaired by Prof Patrick Lumumba, for allegedly “exposing them to public ridicule, turning the anti-graft searchlight solely on their colleagues”, and demonstrating he may not give many of them clearance certificates to run for reelection in the 2013 election. So, in debating and passing the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Bill, they ensured a clause requiring that the KACC director and his deputies vacate office immediately was in the law.

However, with social media and other media outlets, Kenyans have a platform to take action, shame the corrupt and share information with the authorities. For instance, Kenyans On Twitter run a campaign known as #WeKnowYourSalary that exposed politicians and tycoons “graft wealth”. Mainstream media couldn’t help but also report it as well.

Since, as Uhuru has pointed out, civil society, media and leaders from across the political and social spectrum have come together and made their views known on corruption menace, it is imperative that all stakeholders come together in offering a solution rather than endlessly debating on the same issue.

As a national leader, the President has the responsibility and duty to lead this initiative. He has now doing that. It is only fair that Jubilee leader back their party leader in this.


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