Saturday, August 23, 2008

Why have anti-corruption initiatives failed in Kenya?

I propose 3 reasons
  1. Kenyans don't associate GoK money and their money as being one: Out of around Ksh700bn annual budget, KRA collects around Ksh500bn. This is paid by most Kenyans who work or do business. So why don't most peeps care about how their money is spent? Here in the UK, I pay tax similiar in amount to my mortgage plus monthly shopping bill. That tax excludes car tax and local taxes. So I care very much about how the UK govt spends my money. In Kenya, perhaps because many of the elite are tax evaders or MPs, you rarely hear anybody decry wasteful GoK spending. That makes it easy for peeps to think they can get away with pocketing the same because Kenyans think its GoK money who cares. Corruption involving GoK money is as bad as someone carkjacking you, ngeta-ing you et al.
  2. Too much fear or respect of those in authority: A culture od doing what the boss said pervades the civil service at all levels. And yet, its like peeps haven't learned from Prof Mbithi who when testifying at Goldenberg said he received phone calls at night asking him to parocess Ksh1bn plus payment for Pattni! And off he went. Today he is a disgraced man. Because of this culture of doing as you are told rather than demanding that you get the same in writing, corruption is easy to do because there is rarely any paper-trail. In such a situation, its nigh on impossible to one, ascertain that corruption has taken place and secondly, as difficult to find out who played what role. In that respect Githongo's tape-conversations was God-sent (notice its the same trick Kalonzo used on his own PA).
  3. Politicisation of everything:Many will condemn corruption and the impact it has on our economy. They'll argue that peeps caught being corrupt, should be hanged and quartered. Wait until the suspect is of similar political affiliation...Oh there is selective justice, oh he is an angel and would never do that. Our politics being bereft of any ideology, principles or policies have surrendered to our lowest common denominator, tribe. That is why Kibaki can easily say that corruption will be a thing of the past and also query whose goat Njeru Ndwiga has partakrn off. Similar attitudes will ofcourse be the norm from the hoodlums who partcipate in mashada and kumekucha forums. They will shout when Kibaki and allies are caught with their hands in the cookie jar, but praise without hesitation Raila's allies such as the likes of Ruto of the NSSF-plots; Kosgey of the All-Africa games et al

There is hope that things can change. I remember guys telling cops off in 2003. And guys like Githongo pia.

No comments: