The Star (Kenya) - - Politics -

PPOSITION chief Raila Odinga has in the last cou­ple of months been very out­spo­ken on cor­rup­tion and mis­man­age­ment in the na­tional gov­ern­ment.

This sug­gests that he is an­gling to el­e­vate the war on cor­rup­tion as the cam­paign centrepiece of the 2017 gen­eral elec­tion.

There are con­cerns that Raila has fo­cused so much en­ergy on ex­pos­ing cor­rup­tion at the na­tional level, while ig­nor­ing, or even re­main­ing mum, when the same hap­pens in the coun­ties that are con­trolled by gover­nors al­lied to his Cord al­liance.

There is no deny­ing that Raila’s stand on cor­rup­tion has been ahead of the pack. As the op­po­si­tion chief, that is ex­pected of him and his troops. But he should go a step fur­ther and demon­strate the same zeal when deal­ing with the Cord­con­trolled coun­ties where they are deemed to be cor­rupt.

He must have the guts to iden­tify those county chiefs from his side who are dab­bling in cor­rup­tion, thereby in­tro­duc­ing doubts about his spir­ited anti-graft cam­paign.

But we must at all times re­mem­ber that Raila is not the Pres­i­dent and there­fore ask­ing him to do ev­ery­thing in re­la­tion to the war on graft is over­stretch­ing is­sues a bit.

The main rea­son why the war on cor­rup­tion has suf­fered is for lack of po­lit­i­cal will. So, even if Raila spoke about cor­rup­tion on his side of cor­rup­tion, it will amount to nil, un­less there is the po­lit­i­cal will to en­sure that such gover­nors are brought to ac­count. That falls squarely within the Pres­i­dent’s purview. Only the Pres­i­dent has the mech­a­nisms to fight cor­rup­tion. If any sin­gle big fish were to be ar­rested, tried and con­victed, the coun­try will record a sig­nif­i­cant re­duc­tion in cor­rup­tion be­cause oth­ers will fear the con­se­quences. For now, peo­ple in­dulge in the vice smug in the knowl­edge that noth­ing will hap­pen.

For ex­am­ple, Deputy Pres­i­dent Wil­liam Ruto should have come out clearly and asked his two aides Faruk Ki­bet and Sen­a­tor Kipchumba Murkomen to carry their own crosses when they were men­tioned by Anne Waig­uru in the NYS scan­dal.

In­stead, we saw a Deputy Pres­i­dent who be­came de­fen­sive, shield­ing these two and launch­ing a ver­bal at­tack against Waig­uru.

Farouk has yet to com­ment. It has taken the sen­a­tor two weeks to is­sue a re­join­der. And he doesn’t deny re­ceiv­ing the money and the na­ture of busi­ness that ne­ces­si­tated his be­ing paid.

Ruto should not be de­fen­sive when peo­ple around him are men­tioned in cor­rup­tion scan­dals.

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