Uhuru is waking up to reality seven years later, and it’s not too late


Has President Uhuru Kenyatta finally woken up? For seven years he led Kenya with his head buried in the sand as looting went on all around him, he gave repetitive speeches, issued empty threats, launched a website to report corruption and then deleted it, talked tough on social media about fighting corruption and then deleted all his accounts. He promised lifestyle audits and polygraph tests that were never implemented. We got used to his ‘all bark but no bite’ routine. This week, however, someone was bitten, someone so powerful that, had it not been July 22nd, we would have thought it was April Fool’s day. The arrest and charging of Finance Minister, Henry Rotich, and others was a brave move.

Now you don’t start a war and then stop midway. You go all out and destroy everyone and everything that represents corruption. You jail friends, allies and even family. That’s how Uhuru can secure his legacy.

I support 100% the war against corruption, but l am a cautious person; prosecution doesn’t equate to conviction. We have seen witnesses against powerful people threatened, bribed, forced to recant their testimonies and some even killed. In the recent past, a Supreme Court judge was bribed to acquit a guilty, powerful governor. Uhuru Kenyatta took the report implicating the judge and buried it. The judge quietly retired. In the past the president has gone out of his way to protect and shield people accused of corruption from prosecution.

So, here is my advice to President Uhuru Kenyatta if maybe, just maybe, he is keen to dismantle the corruption network. Firstly, he must walk the talk. Our jails are still full of petty offenders while wealthy and politically connected economic saboteurs walk free. We can be revolutionary and go the Guatemalan way. Guatemalans were tired of corruption and they persistently took to the streets. They jailed their Vice President and their Congress (Parliament) moved very quickly to impeach the President and deprived him of immunity from prosecution. Guatemala formed The International Commission against Impunity in Guatemala CICIG (the equivalent of our toothless EACC) and got an independent foreigner with integrity to head it. The cartels in Guatemala were extremely powerful and violent, but they were defeated. They are kept at bay by the anger of the people, the partnership of Guatemala and UN, and a new government that is led by Jimmy Morales, who won on the slogan “I am not Corrupt and I am not a Thief!” He hasn’t been very clean though, but he has tried. Uhuru is no saint either. Kenya’s parliament will not impeach Uhuru and he can use that as an advantage to secure his legacy by slaying the corruption dragon.

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Secondly, he can spearhead the implementation of the Truth, Justice, and Reconciliation (TJRC) report, recovery of stolen public money and property listed in the Kroll Report, and implementation of the Ndungu Commission Report on the illegal and irregular allocation of public land.

Thirdly, the President can give an order for wealth declarations of public officers to be made public, including his own, for scrutiny by citizens. Those found to have lied in their declaration should be fired from their jobs, prosecuted in the public interest and any unexplained wealth seized by the state.

President Uhuru should cure the myths he has created that the fight against corruption is as complex as rocket science. He should fumigate his own house and rid it of corrupt officials. Government corruption can only be dealt a death blow if the Head of State and Government resolves to constitute and lead an anti-corruption administration.

President Uhuru must resolve his own paradox of enjoying almost zero opposition in the National Assembly, particularly after the so-called handshake, yet he is unable to get his serial anti-corruption promises fulfilled.

Fourthly, he should constitute a well-paid and equipped anti-corruption team of investigators and prosecutors, independent of the executive and political interference. President Uhuru, after the handshake, enjoys almost zero opposition in the National Assembly. He must reform the law to allow corruption and economic crimes to be heard at the High Court by specialist judges. The cases should be expedited to minimise witness tampering, intimidation, and hiding of stolen assets.
Finally, he must reward and protect whistle blowers and offer blanket amnesty to anyone who helped hide stolen money and becomes a witness against the thieves; heck he can even give them a percentage of anything they help recover. Use the mafia to fight the mafia. All Chief Financial Officers from the past five years should be persons of interest to the state; they know how, where and when money was stolen. That poorly paid police officer is a witness to how the leaders they protect are robbing us. Woe unto the politician if their trusted bodyguard decides to do something.

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The Writer is a Politician, Activist and Social and Political Commentator that reacts to topical issues

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