BOARDROOM TALES

What state capture, Africog?

A false tale often betrays itself.

In Summary

• If there was ‘state capture’, it would not be possible for the EACC to continue recovering stolen public funds.

• If graft war were not possible, then we'd not be having hundreds of people before the courts.

A fox and a monkey were travelling together when they passed through a cemetery full of monuments. “All these monuments were erected in honour of my ancestors,” the monkey told the fox.

After a short silence, the fox replied, “You have chosen a most appropriate subject for your falsehoods, as I am sure none of your ancestors will be able to contradict you.”

The fable is on the lesson that a false tale often betrays itself. It is common for humans to come up with stories and narratives that at times cannot be proven but appear convincing.

Every so often, a group of people appears to sit together and create a narrative, which it then tries selling to Kenyans. This group has over the years taken Kenyans for a ride with claims that cannot be backed by facts.

Two weeks ago, Africog launched a report claiming that Kenya was in ‘State Capture’. And the group’s foremost leaders are on a media tour selling this narrative to Kenyans.

The narrative being created is that people around the President, including his family, are involved in corruption and this is why the government is having a hard time fighting graft. The only thing is that the civil society grouping is not giving any evidence towards this and so not convincing anyone.

Their ‘state capture’ narrative is based on a premise that the current administration is unable to fight corruption. According to their report, while President Uhuru Kenyatta has done a lot to institutionalise the war on corruption, he has not been able to cut off the roots.

To the activists, there are some imaginary forces that are making the President not deal with the root causes of corruption. We can only call these forces imaginary, as the said activists are not even mentioning or providing evidence of who or what they are.

Backing up a bit is that these civil society groups are notorious for creating narratives and trying to distract Kenyans at every opportunity. Ahead of the 2017 election, these are the same people who tried to block the polls a number of times without success.

For them, the country was not doing the elections right and they filed multiple cases in court to block the elections. One wonders why they never learn from their past, even after always losing in their attempts to create chaos.

For them nothing in this country is ever going right, even when all other Kenyans are working hard to deal with the challenges. Every government is worse than the previous and now corruption is worse under this administration than the previous ones.

In fact, after the elections, the activists appeared to have gone dead with nothing bad to say about a country they always want to see in chaos. The handshake between President Uhuru Kenyatta and opposition leader Raila Odinga appeared to have rendered them voiceless.

And now to most definitely appease their donors and get funding, they have woken up with this new narrative they have branded ‘state capture’. They are successfully pushing this narrative in the media, with titles such as ‘Bandit Economy’ or ‘A Corrupt Nation’ appearing on our TV screens and newspaper editorials.

The narrative being created is that people around the President, including his family, are involved in corruption and this is why the government is having a hard time fighting graft. The only thing is that the civil society grouping is not giving any evidence towards this and so not convincing anyone.

If the war on corruption were not possible, then we would not be having hundreds of people, including senior state officers, before the courts. If there was ‘state capture’, it would not be possible for the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission to continue recovering stolen public funds as it has reported.

We can measure the success of the fight against corruption through the convictions that we will get once the cases go through the due process. We will see the success when we no longer get reports of money getting lost from public institutions.

This is what Kenyans are waiting and looking forward to and not imaginary and fictitious stories created in boardrooms for people only seeking donor funding. What if these activists spent time sensitising Kenyans on how to help fight corruption instead of creating fiction?