Fight­ing cor­rup­tion in Kenya will be a hard bat­tle but it must be won

The East African - - OPINION -

Kenyan me­dia have re­lent­lessly been re­port­ing mega cor­rup­tion sto­ries that have shocked the coun­try.

Cor­rup­tion is not new to Kenya, and has al­ways al­ways fought back us­ing po­lit­i­cal, le­gal and so­cial means to sab­o­tage its fight.

But if Kenya is to progress eco­nom­i­cally and po­lit­i­cally, cor­rup­tion has to stoip. Fight­ing it will be easy but it has to be fought with all the might in­clud­ing the in­put from the pres­i­dency.

Kenyan men­tal­ity is to blame too. Those seen as in­cor­rupt­ible are con­sid­ered fail­ures by so­ci­ety. In­deed those who man­age to steal or get cor­ruptly rich can sani­tise their wealth through in­vest­ments and also get into pol­i­tics for pow­er­ful po­si­tions in gov­ern­ment. That is how our so­ci­ety is con­di­tioned. We glo­rify wealth ir­re­spec­tive how it has been ac­quired. In a coun­try where ma­jor­ity sur­vive with very lit­tle income and poverty is still en­demic it is easy to buy in­flu­ence through use of money. That is partly why fight­ing cor­rup­tion is not easy but must be done.

So where do we go from here? Pres­i­dent Uhuru Keny­atta has lately shown signs that he means to end cor­rup­tion in Kenya. But it will be a very hard fought bat­tle. The best legacy Uhuru can have is to leave a solid sys­tem and mech­a­nism of erad­i­cat­ing and fight­ing cor­rup­tion con­tin­u­ously. He has the power and would use the in­stru­ments to fight the cor­rup­tion that is there but would also have to set sys­tems that would en­sure the fight con­tin­ues into per­pe­tu­ity.

It will never be easy to fight cor­rup­tion in a coun­try like Kenya but it has to be done. The un­em­ploy­ment cri­sis and the chal­lenges we have in pro­vid­ing even the ba­sics of the ba­sics and the de­sire to build a pros­per­ous coun­try means we have to de­stroy the stum­bling block called cor­rup­tion. This has to be fought within the na­tional and county gov­ern­ments. Money em­bezzeled means lack of goods or ser­vices or shoddy pub­lic works that en­dan­ger lives or even cause death. It should not be al­lowed to con­tinue. For now I wish the pres­i­dent suc­cess in the zeal to tame cor­rup­tion notwith­stand­ing the ob­vi­ous dif­fi­cul­ties. Har­ri­son Ikunda Via e-mail

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