In Kenya, we’ve had many corruption scandals involving government officials.
I’d like to focus on the corruption that involves stealing of public funds.
To name but a few, we’ve had the Goldenberg Scandal (Kshs. 100 billion), Anglo Leasing (Kshs. 50 billion), and many countless more in the Jubilee regime.
Though the dirty works of stealing of public funds is often done by junior staff at the behest of their superior, one thing is for sure; it is not easy to prosecute the senior staff.
The bigwigs of corruption have a network that is hard to fight, let alone dismantle. They have people in the police, judiciary, parliament and executive who make a joke of corruption investigations, arrests and prosecution.
The Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) and those bodies mandated to fight corruption before it have often been accused of netting the small fish, leaving the big ones, if you like, to roam freely.
You see, the public often wants the corrupt, especially the big officials to suffer the most, by first losing their jobs, then getting prosecuted and facing jail terms.
This has not been happening, and it has angered the masses such that it blinds them not to see the ‘small wins’.
Though this has been seen this way, I have an alternative explanation of where we’ve been winning as a country in this fight.
Of course the small wins are not enough.
However, sometime before Kibaki left and the philandering duo of UhuRuto took over, these ‘small fishes’ that help big ones rob Kenyans have been having it rough.
Something has been happening: the fines charged has been more than the money that is alleged to have been stolen.
For example, a public servant x might have stolen Kshs. 3 million, when the court finds them guilty, they are charged a fine of Kshs. 6 million or face some years in jail. That is double the amount stolen.
In the second example, the state finds an official guilty and retains the money by freezing a bank account and sending the money back to state coffers.
In the first instance, a recent case, is that of former Kenya RE Finance Director John Kinyua & Senior Manager of Heritage Insurance Charles Kinuthia who have each been fined Kshs. 7.39 million or 4 years imprisonment for fraudulent acquisition & disposal of public property valued at Kshs. 3 million.
Other examples, in May 2018, Nairobi Anti-Corruption Court Principal Magistrate Lawrence Mugambi fines makueni district accountant Wycliff Marege Mitema Kshs. 16 million for misappropriating Kshs. 3.8 million or face four years in jail.
In the second example, a recent case too, a decision by the Court of Appeal that Kshs. 41.2 million banked by by a former senior government official be forfeited to the state because the official could not explain how he ammases that wealth.
Everyday, the EACC has been recovering monies and assets gained through proceeds of corruption.
This year alone they said they’ve recovered Kshs. 2.7 billion worth of assets.
Though this is not enough; it is something.
The future looks bleek for those who have stolen money from the public coffers.
No matter how long it takes, ‘the arc of history might be long, but it bends towards justice’.
And as sure as the conversation began about a different way of managing this nation, a time shall come when the tides will turn against the children and grandchildren of people (and their cronies) who have stolen from this land.
We all pursue happiness, and this is the drive for search for a better life.
If you truly seek happiness, and you want it now, to see that the tide changes against the looters and grabbers. Then you need to improve your level of agitation and make more activist, your conversation.
Because, in the end, in this search for a better life and society, you can’t just sit, so what are you gonna do?
[we might’ve to hang looters because they cause untold suffering to a large number of people]
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