FIGHTING CORRUPTION

Three musketeers need our help

Anti-sleaze brotherhood of Kinoti, Twalib and Haji need consistent public rage and political goodwill

In Summary

• Investigators still fumble in spite of the public rage against corruption.

• They don't produce weak cases for free.

The Public Servant of the Year accolade, if it exists, goes to the top crime-buster. The man is paid for this, but all civil servants are on the payroll, even without much to show for their keep.

But a few zealous people at the top of an atrophied system are unlikely to make an impact overnight. Such passionate people need officers who share their passion. They also need public rage and goodwill.

The zealous also need a unified system that delivers as much as it promises. Drop politics and let this man work because he can. The Director of Criminal Investigations George Maingi Kinoti has set the tempo for the agency.

The intervention in the lawyer Assa Nyakundi saga illustrates Kinoti's concern that, 'protected' suspects can get away with serious crimes. Last month, he ordered a fresh investigation into the shooting of the lawyer's son. The lawyer is the suspect.

Compromised investigations into crimes such as murder, rape, economic genocide and robbery are responsible for moral atrophy. Anarchy passes for hustling.  

Investigators still fumble in spite of the public rage against corruption. They don't produce weak cases for free. Corruption is theft by economic genociders, who grease gullible hands.

Compromised investigations into crimes such as murder, rape, economic genocide and robbery are responsible for moral atrophy. Anarchy passes for hustling.  

Leadership begins at the top, and Afande Kinoti demonstrates leadership. He has re-organised the Directorate of Criminal Investigations: You either shape up or ship out. There is no other way. The arrest of farm-gate pilfered at the Kenya Revenue Authority, last weekend, should extend to other public offices.

Kinoti is a member of the anti-sleaze brotherhood of Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission CEO Twalib Mbarak, and Director of Public Prosecutions Noordin Haji.

Twalib joined the fraternity four months ago, with a background of military intelligence. He is expected to give the anti-graft movement new momentum. This shall be realised once Twalib gets a team that shares his passion.

Four months in office, 'hidden files' should resurface as the EACC reclaims the cause. But without rearranging the EACC, this option could be hyped hope.

 

Lawyer Patrick Lumumba's high-voltage files did not reach the dock. Cartels ejected the former EACC chairman before he could quote Shakespeare. The lawyer could not handle vested interests at Integrity Centre. Nothing had prepared him for intrigues that fertilise sleaze.

By speaking of high-octane corruption files, PLO had rattled lootocrats. Protectors of tumbocrats could not allow him to kill their geese. Former EACC chairman Philip Kinisu faced a similar fate. The owners of the EACC ensnared him into resignation.

EACC chairman Eliud Wabukala, a former head of the Anglican Church of Kenya, survives because he does not confront vested interests. Zealous outsiders are not allowed to mess up the show.

They ejected Mumo Matemu as EACC chairman before he understood the system.  The owners of the EACC alleged incompetence. He took up the position in 2013. Matemu succeeded poetic Lumumba.

Piglanders believe theft of public money is a legitimate way of accumulating private wealth. They have done it with impunity, until now that their 'guardian angel' is being relocated. The 'angel' was the nexus of game-spoilers who are also on the radar.

Corruption suspects, like other criminals, exploit the Broken Window theory. US criminologists James Q Wilson and George Kelling developed the theory to explain lawlessness.

"If a broken window is left unrepaired, watchers will conclude that no one cares, and no one is in charge. Soon, more windows will be broken, and the sense of anarchy will spread...."  That's how impunity has blossomed, with a peak during the Jubilee era.

Malcolm Gladwell uses the theory in The Tipping Point to explain how two passionate crime-busters reversed New York's crime epidemic of the 1980s.

Kinoti, Twalib and Haji can confront the lords of impunity. But they need consistent public rage and political goodwill to reverse the anarchy in public governance.

Journalists have written much on these issues. One wishes exposure alone could jail the named and shamed. Robert L Bartley, editor, Wall Street Journal, says, "I don't put people in jail, I put them in the newspaper."