DDRESSING the Governance and Accountability Summit at State House yesterday, the President appeared to be helpless, lamenting and passing the buck about being let down by the anticorruption agencies. He exonerated himself from spiraling corruption, saying he had given his all to help the agencies tackle corruption, yet nothing was moving. The President even suggested he was misled in firing Cabinet Secretaries and PSs on the EACC list two years ago because the agency has yet to provide incriminating evidence against them.
His demeanour was that of throwing in the towel by washing his hands of the war on corruption, which amounts to the Executive surrendering to the corruption cartels. This is not the kind of response expected of a president determined to root out corruption. The posture of helplessness doesn’t inspire the war on corruption. What, then, is the message to ordinary Kenyans? That they should learn to live with the corruption that takes away their livelihoods?
The insinuation that he is powerless against corruption because of constitutional limitations is extremely alarming. In complaining that he doesn’t have the legal or constitutional wherewithal to appoint judges, is he intimating that had he such powers he would determine who should be jailed and who should not? Isn’t this nostalgia a yearning for the authoritarian presidency of the past?
Despite the independent mandate and functions of the anti-corruption agencies, pubic officers work at the behest of the President and nothing stops him prosecuting any complacent or compromised agency. He demonstrated this ability to get things done when he got the EACC commissioners relieved of their duties in record time.
The President ought to know that every grand project JP embarks on is underwritten and executed by corruption. I want to counsel the President on the billions in scandals involving cash transfers to the elderly, infirm and orphans. While at the Coast last week, I bumped into what could be a major scandal of theft beyond the NYS excesses.
The billions in cash transfers are perforated with corruption, because beneficiaries aren’t receiving the cash as assumed. Money is going into the pockets of ghost beneficiaries while the qualified beneficiaries are turned away on flimsy grounds. Many beneficiaries were registered but don’t get disbursements. The situation will get worse.