Corruption is bleeding Kenya to death!
By Evans Karangu
Looking at our history, the need to explore the Story of a Kenyan Whistle-Blower, John Githongo, arises. The story by Michela Wrong, author of the book “It’s Our Turn to Eat,” introduces us to a character named John Githongo. Having been a journalist, Githongo was appointed by the late President Mwai Kibaki immediately after he took office in 2003.
Upon his appointment as head of the local branch of the anti-graft organization Transparency International, Githongo was tasked to probe Corruption associated with the previous government of late President Daniel Moi. Fellow people, Corruption didn’t start soon.
Githongo ran into serious problems when he began to pursue evidence that the government of the day was perpetuating the scandal of Anglo Leasing instead of curbing it. The scandal was among the many corrupt deals inherited from the KANU Government, which had ruled Kenya for 24 years.
It was estimated to be between $750 million and $1 billion worth of corrupt contracts signed with ghost companies, ghost military companies, and ghost security companies. Two years into his job, Githongo had to flee Kenya for his life to London. He feared the corruption cartels of the day.
Uhuru, the President of the republic, has confirmed to us that 2 billion is lost by the government daily on Corruption. This is a lot of money. “When one gets in bed with the government, one must expect the diseases it spreads.” Ronald Ernest Paul, an American author, activist, physician, and retired politician, once claimed.
Now, as we count 1 day to the August 9th elections, Corruption is a subject that the Kenya Kwanza and Azimio Presidential aspirants have included in their manifestos. Is Raila or Ruto going to Stop Corruption?
Back to our book “It’s Our Turn to Eat,” back from Exile, Githongo was able to continue his campaign. He released information and tape transcripts that chronicled how key ministers and top civil servants had conspired to steal up to $750 million in public funds. Should one say that Corruption has been bleeding Kenya to death?
For Kenya Kwanza, Corruption in Kenya has a connection to state capture and conflict of interest. One would therefore wonder what this state capture is. The term has bombarded the minds of many Kenyans.
Recently, the deputy presidential debate at the Catholic University of Kenya presented the term state capture through Kenya Kwanza’s running mate Hon. Rigathi Gachagua. Gachagua, in his response to the veteran journalist James Smart on matters regarding Corruption, proclaimed state capture and conflict of interest as the real corruption menace in Kenya.
According to Gachagua, state capture is where people in power compete with citizens for scarce resources, use their positions to get business unfairly and allocate resources to projects they are interested in.
Gachagua claimed that the Kenyatta family, who own NCBA bank, the merger of NIC, and Commercial Bank of Africa, were exempted from paying 350 million, which they were entitled to pay for their transactions.
He further affirmed that the bank has rendered money to the Kenyan government and is associated with Fuliza, a mobile loan service offered by Safaricom to its users. If Gachagua’s sentiments are true, will Kenya Kwanza go after Kenyatta if William Ruto becomes the President?
Professor Herman Manyora, a renowned political analyst, in response to Gachagua during an interview at the Nairobi Review, reiterated that the Kenyatta family is involved in the legal business. And therefore, such allegations may not be significant to have them jailed should the matter be presented in court. According to the Don, if an individual, business, or organization delivers as expected, that stops being state capture.
In our book “It’s Our Turn to Eat,” Githongo’s life and actions present an extraordinary Kenyan with deep convictions about his country’s failings, its needs, and how he could do something about it. Between Kenya Kwanza and Azimio, who is our John Githongo?
Who will be our next Whistle-Blower?
For many, Raila has been on the frontline to address the Corruption menace, but for Ruto, many think he is not firm about the war on Corruption. Is this fair criticism?
Accordingly, to better solve the corruption menace in our country, this is what our top presidential aspirants have to say.
“We have a solid plan on dealing firmly, decisively, and conclusively with corruption.” The Deputy President, William Ruto, In a BBC News Africa interview on 21st July 2022. Uncle Willy has a plan, an agenda, and the capacity to change the destiny of Kenya.
“Nobody is despicable in this war against corruption,” Raila Odinga, the presidential aspirant of Azimio during a similar interview with BBC News Africa on 22nd July 2022. For Baba, Uhuru has been unable to fight Corruption since it has been inside his house.
Let’s wait and see what the next government will do to fight the menace, or will it also claim that It’s Our Turn to eat.