President’s anti-graft message is nothing but hot air as usual

Uhuru Kenyatta Photo:Courtesy

“It is time for you to become active participants in this war; it is time for you to say enough is enough, be it to a policeman or a governor, a clerk or a Cabinet secretary, a judge or a politician,” the president thundered in his Jamhuri Day address to wananchi.

It was a fantastic message, perhaps what we have all been waiting to hear from him – unleashing the ire of Kenyans on the corrupt, dirty sleazebags that bleed the country dry.

You could sense the optimism of the Nyayo Stadium crowd as they waited for the President’s next words. And then, as always, he let them down.

His subsequent words revealed this for what it was: just another speech, just another bunch of words – spoken by the presidential mouth, admittedly, but comprised of little more than hot air.

He urged us to report corrupt public servants to the nearest police station, and “…If they don’t listen, report it to your nearest Ethics and Anti-Corruption Office; if they don’t listen, give the information to the media and to civil society to unmask these people….” Good Lord!

The President must have smiled quietly to himself as he read out those words, for a more self-contradictory set of statements is difficult to imagine.

Everyone and their grandmother knows that Kenya’s corruption is worst in the very public sectors the President asked us to report corrupt public servants to!

Telling us to report corrupt county officials to the police or their criminal investigation sidekicks is asking us report the corrupt to the even more corrupt. How charming.

But don’t they say charity begins at home? Maybe we should ask the President to lead the way. After all, he has told us on numerous occasions that corruption in his own office, the Office of the President, is “monumental”, so much so that he said the corrupt in his office “constitute a parallel government”.

The President knows who works in his office, he knows who is corrupt, and he knows the giant network that the corrupt have put together in his office – what he called Kenya’s “parallel government”.

And he is right, for it is clear to any observer – but especially to the wananchi who suffer the consequences of this blight – that the Office of the President is where the King Cobras live, the venomous reptiles that poison every aspect of public and private life in Kenya, the connected serpents that run the country regardless of official and public condemnation.

And so, has the President reported these lowlife bad eggs to the nearest police station? If he did, the police clearly didn’t listen, because we have not seen any of these thugs on trial. Therefore, since the police didn’t listen, did the President then report to the nearest Ethics and Anti-Corruption Office?

Strain your ear to listen to the graft-fighting grunts coming from the ironically named Ethics and Anti-Corruption Office, and all you hear is crickets. Nothing to see there.

Did Bwana Rais, on realising that his Ethics and Anti-Corruption Office is useless – then give information to the media? Did he after that pass on the same information to civil society? Can we thus say the President helped to unmask these people?

Hah! Wapi. Mr President, stop taking us for a ride. On corruption, Kenyans want to see nothing (not even high profile arrests, we have seen enough) but blood.

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