Let’s keep conversation going to fight graft

Monday, January 25th, 2021 00:00 |
EACC chief executive Twalib Mbarak. Photo/PD/Gerald Ithana

President Uhuru Kenyatta’s address to the Kikuyu nation was a great moment for radio and specifically the vernacular stations. 

In this time of Covid-19 pandemic, it is instructive to note the power of radio even in its fragmented form.

Technically, the President spoke to the audience through a medium that gives the message a personal touch.

Ironically, the message was not so much about the Building Bridges Initiative but about leadership.

One thing that is clear is an incumbent is always judged on perceived and sometimes imagined failures, not success.

The forces against the President’s endeavours to unite Kenyans, fight graft and deliver the Big Four Agenda, in their quest to rally support for 2022 ambitions, pounced on anything anywhere to whip emotions.

The big gain therefore appears to be the truths that the President brought out and how the aftermath of his address is putting both the fight against corruption and development in perspective.

The war against corruption will certainly take centre stage and already there are jokes on the internet that are giving it the traction it deserves. 

When the President says that people in his government have been stealing Sh2 billion every day, we need to situate this broadly and stray our guns, more on both the thieves and the agencies charged with different responsibilities in fighting graft. 

Where are the gaps in holding those culpable responsible? How comes our lawmakers have never raised the flag, yet they are the very people who are supposed to oversight the Executive? 

Jubilee has had the majority in Parliament and the very lawmakers, who went round the country campaigning with the President and his deputy, have had the responsibility of helping the President deliver.

The noblest of those responsibilities is to ensure that the people the President has entrusted with running the Executive arm of the government deliver to Kenyans.

When we divorce politics from these hard issues, we come to understand that our elected leaders bear the most responsibility and the President has just brought in the public to rally behind the fight.

Simply put, we are mad that as a country we lose Sh2 billion every day, then we should celebrate rather than politicise issues when the thieves are arrested, arraigned and charged.

In fact, we should be a lot more vocal in calling for the other arms of the government, especially the Judiciary to expedite the process.

And while at it, we should ask ourselves why some politicians are hobnobbing, in rallies all over the country, protecting people who are in court for theft of public money. 

The lies must end and political leaders must now explain themselves on issues, especially corruption and the opulence they display in public gatherings in the guise empowering the people.

Good leaders exonerate themselves from graft claims and we trust the offices charged with investigations, to diligently expedite investigations and keep the public informed.

For the folks who have been making jokes about the Sh2 billion lost every day, we need to focus on how to keep the conversation going.

We must follow up on investigations and ask of our leaders more questions on sources of wealth and calling them out when they protect leaders who have stolen from the public.

We lack not the platforms for keeping it going. Digital migration has boosted the news information sector and since 2015, the number of free to air TV stations has increased to 67 and with it, the divergence of voices in our public sphere. 

The National Optic Fibre Backbone Infrastructure grand project by the government has laid 6,000km of fibre backbone network covering all 47 Counties. 

Today, Kenya boasts of internet penetration of 87.2 per cent  while Africa’s average is around 47.10 per cent.

These are massive developments that have enhanced service delivery to the public, reduced the cost of doing business, spurred ICT development in rural areas and it certainly do not favour any region. Let us keep the conversation going.[email protected]

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