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Deal with corruption and Kenya is good to go

10 April 2014, 13:51 Mubweka Orodi

Corruption is a vice that has existed with man ever since before Christ was born. It was mostly associated with high end citizens who wanted their way with kings, emperors, administrators and generally governments. However, it has trickled down in recent years to engulf the middle class as well as the low income and poor people.

This vice is the mother of all problems that plague humanity. Human beings are meant to follow rules and legislation so as to create orderliness. When rules and legislation are circumvented then there is chaos and disorderliness. These are witnessed through increased cost of living due to wastage of resources, practice of impunity being openly and publicly displayed and insecurity and crime being on the rise.

High cost of living is something that successive governments in Kenya have grappled with without proper solutions. It is not rocket science when strategizing on how to cut down the prices of basic commodities. Within government, there have been continued accusations that civil servants are misusing resources with others sabotaging processes to ensure they benefit personally. Such behavior automatically hinders service delivery that is meant for the citizen to enable them spend surplus income on other commodities like luxury goods and better quality basic commodities.

The act of disregarding every letter of the law is known as impunity. This is a vice that is commonly practiced across the country especially by those who have contacts in powerful quarters. Top government officials and public officers have been caught on the wrong side of the law a number of times ranging from traffic offences to financial and economic crimes but none is prosecuted and convicted. This means there is something somewhere that is not working right. As a country, Kenya has worked to reform the judiciary and currently the police are halfway enroute to achieving reform objectives. However, impunity seems to supersede the two bodies to an extent that the police reforms have hit a snag with the Inspector General and the Chairman of the National Police Commission publicly disagreeing on clearly stipulated legislation.

Among the most troubling issues on Kenyans' minds is insecurity and crime. The two are on a steady rise ever since the Kenya Defense Forces poured troops into Somalia to fight Al Shabaab and the pirates. Although the military has worked tirelessly with AMISOM forces to drive out Al Shabaab fighters, back home those efforts are being tramped with the slightest caution. Identity cards are being issued to Somali dissidents entering Kenya illegally with entry points along boarder lines serving as cash registers for immigration officers and police personnel. All these flaws in the immigration and security departments occur because bribes are paid handsomely and received graciously.

Gangs within major cities carry out criminal activities with the highest amount of assurance that they will not step into a prison cell. This is because they collide with security agents through corrupt dealings allowing the ones charged with ensuring security is top notch to look the other way as crime takes place rampantly. As if not enough, security agents have allowed criminal gangs to thrive even in the places constructed to correct them and integrate them back into society as reformed citizens. Mobile phones inside prison walls and crimes being perpetrated by convicts is a clear indication that the rot brought about by corruption is a catastrophe.

Government officials tasked with safeguarding public interest should work round the clock not to draft documents that condemn corruption but rather draft stiff penalties to tackle corrupt officials. At the rate with which the government is losing resources especially finances, corruption should cross borders and become a capital offence. Penalties should boarder along decade long sentences to life imprisonment. Crime and insecurity have resulted in the loss of lives of plenty of Kenyans and therefore there is no reason why corrupt immigration and police officers should not be convicted of abetting terrorists and criminals in committing murder.

Indeed, Kenya is destined for greater heights economically as well as socially but without drastic measures being taken, then all efforts will yield nothing. By drastic I mean that some top government officials need to break ranks and ties with their friends, allies and comrades to ensure that perpetrators of corrupt dealings are punished severely. This is what will guarantee Kenya a safe landing in the desired platform of middle income nations within 16 years that are remaining.

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