PLO Lumumba Should Join State House Race On Change Platform

PLO Lumumba Should Join State House Race On Change Platform

Parliament finally kicked PLO Lumumba and his team out of the Kenya Anti-Corruption Commission (KACC), signaling the end of yet another era in the unending circus over graft.

The events leading up to the ejection of the director and his deputies leave no doubt as to the motivation of the legislators: Comprised of so many potential suspects of corruption, it is naïve to expect Parliament to legislate a strong watchdog over its activities. And this Parliament has distinguished itself as the most vindictive and selfish in character. From evading taxes to legislating lucrative terms for itself, it will not stop at anything in blackmailing the citizenry.

But where will this pursuit of a friendly anti corruption commission lead the country next? Is the job of investigating corruption attractive any more? Who wants to be the next scapegoat since it is now crystal clear that there is no political will to fight corruption?

PLO may not have achieved much in his short tenure but history should be kind to him. If he had served his full term, he would probably have registered positive results. He should be judged for his valiant intentions and modest effort before his tenure was maliciously and prematurely terminated. The eagerness of observers, the public and political class to dismiss him for nonperformance must be tempered by the reality of the difficult task of fighting corruption.

May be PLO needed to tame his penchant for speaking, bury his head in the files and only open his mouth when he had results to announce. But the media too did not give him a working chance. Always at his door for results as if the dirty work he was charged with was a simple investigative story, they preyed on the man’s gft of the garb. Unable to whet the high public expectations, PLO swallowed the bait with mighty promises by which he has come to be judged.

Then he goofed. When the guns of the political class were all trained on him, PLO unwittingly shot himself in the foot with the Mbarire saga. Going public about the so-called abortive trap was petty, ill-advised, imprudent and even reckless. In the court of public opinion, the facts of the saga aside, PLO has yet to acquit himself of the charge of a cheap publicity stunt at a time when Kenyans were expecting earth-shaking convictions. PLO had gone into the forest to hunt for a lion but emerged with a rat in his hands expecting the public to applaud.

May be if he asked, the public would be willing to forgive him. The director of the KACC will always be under immense pressure to deliver. Yet corruption is difficult to investigate. Assembling facts to sustain charges against elusive suspects can be very dicey. Which is why I don’t agree with those who argue that PLO and his team achieved nothing. Not quite. Some sense of purpose was beginning to show at Integrity Centre. Anglo Leasing, NSSF, New Jersey, and many other scandals were beginning to unravel. Ministers and state officials are exasperatd with the way PLO was breathing on their necks. Which is good progress: in fighting corruption, you employ various tactics. You scare, corner and pounce. For the first year, I think PLO and co had done a commendable job in scaring the demigods of corruption. A few had been cornered and they had pounced on others.

PLO may have lost the prominent perch of director of KACC but that kick could turn out to be a blessing in disguise and a death wish for some politicians. This country is yawning for alternative leadership; a genuine voice for change, a believer in public good, a champion for the poor, a role model for the youth and an icon of integrity in public service. PLO amply fits that bill and his discharge from KACC should be a godsend.

As director of KACC, he was prohibited from engaging in political activities during his tenure. He is now free and should quickly dust up his Chama Cha Mzalendo and enter the race for State House on the platform of change. His exemplary credentials, wit and oratory skills should resonate with both the middle class and youth, unemployed and poor throughout the country who aspire to a good life. Their hopes and dreams are everyday being shattered by the corrupt political cartels.

There is more going for PLO too. Besides knowing what ails this country from the few months he has been at the helm of the anti corruption watchdog, he is familiar with the smoking corruption cases and whom he must pull the plug on. If I were he, I would not mince words. The time to take the battle to his foes is now. He needs no one’s permission any more. Besides Martha Karua, only PLO’s candidature offers prospects for a proper assault on corruption. If and when he decides to join the race, I will be quite happy to lend my hand. Here is Kenya’s Barack Obama circa 2012



PLO Lumumba Should Join State House Race On Change Platform

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