Uhuru Should Turn Talk On Corruption To Action.
When President Uhuru Muigai Kenyatta took oath of office to become the fourth president of Kenya, two important aspects that required undivided attention were missing in his inaugural speech. The first thing was corruption. The second was tribalism.
These two axes of evil, particularly corruption; have ruined the past of our resilient motherland of Kenya. Unfortunately, they’re busy emptying the promises our land holds for a future generation.
Yet, a serious leader with a quest to transform a society cannot bypass these two enemies of our republic. He or she must devise a method and deploy achievable strategic plan to annihilate or at least reduce them.
Ironically, the closest Uhuru came to addressing these two evils was when he affirmed that he will ensure transparency and accountability in tendering processes and reconfigure national unity. That may sound cute. But it was a general statement that lacked specificity.
That’s why it was refreshing to see President Uhuru emerge clearly from the front with a master plan to fight corruption. It was even more audacious of the president to admit since independence that the office of the president is one of the most corrupt institutions in the country.
I applaud Mr. President. He validated the feelings of a nation. But make no mistake. Fighting corruption isn’t a childish task. Corruption fights back. But it must be fought from top-down. It must be declared a national disaster.
Beginning a fight against corruption in the office of the president was long overdue. To his credit, President Uhuru has launched a website www.president.go.ke through which members of the public can report directly to him incidents of bribery, unprofessionalism and malpractices that are prominent in the corridors of public institutions.
Mr. President has a plan to initiate electronic transaction of finances to avoid red-tape and possible graft necessitated by traditional ways of transfer of money.
Moreover, anticipated one-stop service center that will centralize services will without a doubt eliminate unnecessary bureaucracy that fosters corruption.
Corruption has definitely messed us up. Kenya could be a developed country playing in the same league with countries such as Malaysia and Singapore. Unemployment rate could be lower. But it has skyrocketed.
Our infrastructure could be first class, but it is dilapidated. Industrialization, science and technology could be booming. But our dimwittedness and corruption has created a mediocre country.
A recent study conducted by Transparency International (TI) categorized Kenya as the fourth most corrupt nation not in East Africa or Africa, but in the whole world.
Additionally, Kenya Police Service-a force president Uhuru is the commander in chief, was ranked the most corrupt government institution. That is depressing.
Yet, we are a smart people. We are ingenious people. We are a religious people. We are hard-working people. We are resilient people. Kenyan is a country of promise. How did we slide into such moral decadence?
May be, just may be all isn’t lost. Spokesperson of Uhuru administration who doubles up as Director for Presidential Strategic Communications Unit (PSCU), Mr. Manoa Esipisu; assured Kenyans that “the President is committed to a clean government and…advances his intention to act strongly against corruption.”
We are going to Uhuru administration by its word. However, corruption cannot be won by tough talk alone. Tough talk must be translated into tough action. Corrupt officials and citizens must be investigated and prosecuted in accordance with the law.
Perhaps, corrupt officials should be labeled economic terrorists. For that’s who they are. They have terrorized our country for far too long. They have demeaned us in the presence of the world and stolen our innocence.
Furthermore, proceeds from corrupt practices must be confiscated, reinstated to the public and be channeled into economic activities that can create employment opportunities, enhance health services, end poverty and empower education for Kenyans. Which begs the question: Can Uhuru become our messiah in the fight against corruption? Time will tell.
By Jacktone Ambuka-a Kenyan residing at State College Pennsylvania USA. You Can Reach me by email [email protected],