FIGHT AGAINST CORRUPTION

Corruption war will never be won with the same mindset

In Summary

• Even with the best of intentions, anti-corruption czars have found their paths strewn with insurmountable pitfalls.

•  We can't forget what befell the likes of John Githongo and PLO Lumumba, among other anti-graft officials.

DPP Noordin Haji and DCI George Kinoti before Senate's Justice and Legal Affairs Committee on the progress made in the multi-agency fight against corruption and economic crimes, August 29, last year
CONCERTED EFFORTS: DPP Noordin Haji and DCI George Kinoti before Senate's Justice and Legal Affairs Committee on the progress made in the multi-agency fight against corruption and economic crimes, August 29, last year
Image: JACK OWUOR

It has been interesting listening and reading the back and forth arguments on who is to be blame for Covid-19 health heist in the media.

And this debate is not new. Every time such mindless theft occur, the same script is followed, to an extent that Kenyans have become too weary and almost always predictive of what to expect.

It should never be so, especially in a world with new tools of slaying the corruption dragon. However, it seems we make laws, formulate policies and regulations meant to either abet corruption, cover the politically correct or make the war against corruption a near impossibility.

Even with the best of intentions, anti-corruption czars have found their paths strewn with insurmountable pitfalls. We can't forget what befell the likes of John Githongo and PLO Lumumba, among other anti-graft officials.

It's still the case and our laws and political players are not helping the matters. Indeed , politicians blow hot and cold depending on who is on the chopping board. Corruption has been weaponised to fight real and imagined opponents and no amount of pretension will secure an enduring legacy on this nagging issue.

So many reports are choking in dust in government offices. If implemented, we would have set a different trajectory towards a more open society, where corruption is not only nipped in the bud but safe havens for the corrupt are also wiped out. But we may not succeed in uprooting corruption per se. What can and should be done is to deal it a blow by removing the very breeding grounds that facilitate its growth. And the dusty reports whose contents only the media highlighted bear this out.

We will also never succeed when we allow those whohelped themselves from the public coffers and resources are allowed to run the roost and engage in mischievous exercises of pretending to be leading anti-corruption crusade. This is to cover and protect their ill-gotten wealth and elbowing anybody who, even if genuinely, is aspiring to join the rich club.

We see a lot of this in the political jostling as transition dawns. 

Odhiambo Jamwa is an economic and political analyst