Oscar Sudi, the loquacious, belligerent Kapseret Member of Parliament intimated recently that his faction of the fractious Jubilee has a dossier on President Kenyatta. And if we are to believe South African social critic Mokokoma Mokhonoana: “The kind of lies that someone tells give us an idea of how stupid, knowledgeable, intelligent, or ignorant they are … or they think we are.”
Certainly, Kenyans are neither ignorant nor stupid. Inadvertently or otherwise, Sudi’s outburst played into the growing belief that corruption in Kenya runs deeper than most of us imagine. By threatening to tell on Kenyatta, Sudi’s message was that corruption is sanctioned at the highest levels of governance, with the presidency guilty of dipping its fingers into the public till. Sudi’s pronouncement created the impression there was an unwritten agreement within Jubilee to loot, which one party had broken. If the other party was going down, it was not going alone, hence the threat on letting the cat out of the bag. Sudi may not be one into idioms, but a common one like; ‘There is honour among thieves” should not have eluded him. Professional courtesy, as it were, demands that no matter how disreputable or unethical one is, they must stick to the codes of conduct that direct their affairs. Sudi broke the Law of Omerta and must now let Kenyans see what dirt he has on Kenyatta, and while at it, hazard a guess what makes Dr William Ruto the object of so much hate and ridicule.Against corruption
That there is lack of political goodwill to fight corruption – now brought to life by some Rift Valley leaders – has never been in doubt. Yet absent that will, any attempt to fight corruption is perfunctory, merely playing to the public gallery.It is instructive that for decades, the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission, the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI), the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) and the Judiciary have been eunuchs despite the resources expended on them to birth results in the war against corruption.Because only Parliament and the Executive rank above these institutions, Sudi’s outburst answered the question regarding who neutered these institutions. Barring proof, most of the accusations doing the rounds on social media should be taken with a pinch of salt, but dismissing them outright is injudicious. We need answers on many things, among them the cloud hanging over proceeds of the Eurobond, scams and deals around SGR land purchases (including the Naivasha inland port), KQ-KAA deals, tendering in government where, clearly, there has been a conflict of interest. Claims abound that senior government officials are doing business with the Government institutions from which they siphon billions of shillings.The publicRevelations of corruption in the Arror and Kimwarer dam projects have touched extremely sore nerves. It was in that state that Sudi fired a broadside at Kenyatta. What puzzles is why such revelations should raise hackles, among them, those of Deputy President William Ruto who has not been adversely mentioned in the scam.
Ruto may be the deputy president, but he does not run the Treasury. Why did he, without batting an eyelid, inform the public that not more than Sh7 billion had been released for the dams only for Treasury CS Henry Rotich to contradict him and put the figure at Sh20 billion? Who is fooling who, and why?The very people demanding that the war on corruption should not be politicized are the same ones ensuring politics stays central. By constantly harping on imaginary attempts to stifle Ruto’s ambitions to become president in 2022; even ineffectually trying to play the tired tribal card when products of tribalism and nepotism get caught with their hands up to the elbow in the till, Sudi and ilk miss the point by a mile and are playing dangerous politics.Their thinly veiled instigation to violence in a futile attempt to get their way do not fool anybody, which, on reflection, raises questions on their role in the 2008 ignominy.Those are scars we should have left to heal, but which myopic politicians, driven by delusions of grandeur, keep pricking with sharp needles. We must put an end to this growing nonsense of inflammatory political rhetoric while corruption goes on unabated. Let’s stay focused, our goal is to make Kenya a corrupt free society.The man controlling the states’ purse strings can help the DCI and DPP make headway. He knows who got what, when and for what purpose. Calls for Henry Rotich’s resignation are not entirely without merit. Too much that is wrong has happened under his watch at Treasury; from not just excess but illegal importation of sugar and substandard fertilizer to NYS and much more.
How momentous to the war against corruption it would be if Rotich resigned, made a deal with the DPP and spilled the beans. Better now than to be hunted and hounded later.Mr Chagema is a correspondent at The Standard.firstname.lastname@example.org